Citizens Against Rate Excess

Working to Ensure Just and Reasonable Utility Rates in Michigan

The CARE Team

The CARE team (left to right)
Front Row – Kelly Kitchen, Past President; Dr. Robert Loube, economist; Dr. Kenneth Rose, economist; Connie Groh, attorney;
Second Row – Robert Burns, attorney and regulatory expert; John Liskey, attorney; Douglas Jester, expert.

Background

Michigan has a complicated system for utility rate regulation. Your utility bill is divided into two basic areas; one for the cost of fuel that your utility gets to automatically pass on to ratepayers and the other for the  cost of energy  generation and other operating and overhead expenses incurred by the utility company.

State law requires two different types of proceedings to review rate increases in each area. There is the general rate case and the power supply rate case, also known as the power supply cost recovery (PSCR) case.

The PSCR case was originally intended to permit utility companies a quick recovery of the cost of fuel so they didn’t have to wait for years in a general rate case. Over time, more and more “fuel costs” have been reviewed in a PSCR case rather than a general rate case. This causes your bills to go up faster than they should. A massive amount of litigation has been incurred. Ratepayer advocates regularly challenge these shifts in expenses. This organization has been created to monitor and intervene in fuel adjustment cases in the service territories that are served by utility companies that residential ratepayer advocates do not regularly participate in.

In other words, we will not participate in Detroit Edision or Consumers Energy cases because other residential ratepayer advocates participate in those cases on a regular basis. Instead we will focus our attention on the companies that don’t have a consumer ratepayer watchdog. In order to do so, we need to have members in each service territory.

Membership is free and our membership list will be kept confidential.

Also please note that state laws only allow intervention in investor-owned utility company cases. If you are a ratepayer of a municipally owned power company or an electric cooperative, you should contact your local utility board to inquire about their rate justifications.

We urge you to sign up today so that we can begin to challenge any unreasonable shifts of expenses by your utility company.

Thank you for your interest!