There are two key reasons why customers won’t find many other alternative energy supply options. One is due to the Upper Peninsula’s limited market size. A new supplier would have to build a small generating plant to serve the area, and a small plant would have a hard time competing with larger plants that typically cost less to operate. Second, the transmission lines that deliver electricity to the U.P. are, already at capacity. A new supplier may not have the ability to put additional electricity through the lines to serve more customers.
Alternative electric suppliers must register and be licensed by the state of Michigan and be certified by UPPCO before serving customers. A list of Alternative Electric Suppliers licensed by the state can be found on the Michigan Public Service Commission’s web site at www.michigan.gov/mpsc.
Customers that find an Alternative Electric Supplier to serve them must enter into contracts. Guidelines for switching to an Alternative Electric Supplier include:
- A customer must satisfy any past due balance with the utility prior to taking service from an AES under the RAST tariff.
- There is a charge to switch suppliers more than once a year.
- Only one switch request can be issued at a time.
- Customers on special rate schedules may need to make special arrangements.
- Requests for historical energy use information can be made once a year at no cost to the customer.
- An AES or the customer can make a request for usage information. (AES must have written authorization from customer before company will provide an AES with customer usage information)
- Interval meter equipment may need to be installed at the customer’s expense.
- A “switch request form” must be submitted by the AES and validated by UPPCO.
A list of Alternative Electric Suppliers licensed by the state can be found on the Michigan Public Service Commission website at