A new report to be released this morning finds electric competition would significantly lower electric bills for Michigan consumers.
The report, commissioned by Energy Choice Now, names Jackson-based Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison. It says high electric rates by both utility companies are hurting Michigan's economy.
According to the report, between 2008 and 2012, residential electricity rates jumped 47 per cent for Consumers Energy customers, and 28 per cent for Detroit Edison customers.
Back in October of 2008, former governor Jennifer Granholm signed a bipartisan energy package into law that aimed to lower electric bills. According to the Detroit Free Press, that law has instead led to higher rates. It capped ten-percent of the electric market to be sold competitively, and thousands of businesses grabbed up the entire ten percent allotment, paying $350 million less than they would have, and leaving nothing for residential customers.
The report says residential customers are now paying more, even though wholesale electricity prices have fallen.
Energy Choice Now is backing Republican legislation that would increase the cap on electric competition in Michigan. Michigan is among 16 states that control the competitiveness of electric markets. When compared to the 10 largest states in the country, Michigan had the fourth highest electric rates for residential customers.
Consumers Energy says its rates are at national average, and claims the rates have gone up because of environmental improvements and upgrades.