The Wrong Vote From Council Could Cost Us.

On agenda, July 14th, is the Resolution to intervene, having a seat at the table, regarding the proposed Tariff, MPSC Rate Case U-17767.
The decision to intervene is simple: the City should have a seat at the table when its money is being spent. Projected loss of $100,000 annually for the City of Dearborn Heights, if the TARIFF passes. DTE would rather not have anybody else at the MPSC table, asking hard questions about its proposals, but I view that presence as a simple and necessary act of stewardship of public funds.

Thoughts on DTE Tariff/ Proposed Rate Increase before MPSC:

The focus needs to be on potential savings by migrating to new technology. Right now, the potential savings from LEDs is larger than it will be under the proposed rates.

Under current tariffs, municipalities are typically able to reduce annual spend around 35% by migrating to LED. That potential savings will be more like 20%-25% under the proposed tariffs. The difference sounds small in % terms but it’s a lot of cash when our budget is $1m/year.

26 communities have signed the Resolution. From: Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton.

Michigan cities gearing up for fight with utilities over LED streetlights

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2 thoughts on “The Wrong Vote From Council Could Cost Us.”

  1. The City doesn’t own the lights in Dearborn Heights DTE does. The Warren ave project with nice lights and benches all those lights are owned by DTE. The City paid for them, but doesn’t own them. I say this if there is upgrading to be done with city lights and the City doesn’t own these lights then DTE can pick up the bill to convert all lights in Dearborn Heights to LED. If DTE sold city’s on the Idea that they have to switch over to LED lighting and they would be saving so much money to do that. They don’t get to bait and switch it up now because their bottom line is suffering a slight loss. In the end the taxpayer is the one picking up all the extra if the City has to pay 100,000.00 more because DTE gets to do what they want then who is paying that? We are. Not only is DTE a company the City has to start acting like one too and we the taxpayers are the stock holders that the City has to answer to.

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  2. Who will pay up front for the LED fixtures cost including installation? If DTE paying than that cost is calculated in the rate for given period of time. At the same time DTE invested in the current lighting system and may also include in the new rate calculation any loss of non recoverable investment. The upgrade cost money, and somebody must pay. According to the above article, the city can opt from leasing the the lighting system (poles, fixtures, maintenance, electricity), the city can invest upfront by buying DTE system and do the upgrade or install new more affordable system, whatever cheaper. DTE is not a charity organization and operate under very strict regulations and must pay investors some profit as regulated by the commission. DTE operate as a business and don’t have taxpayer’s base to bail out its management if they fail to stay above the water. DTE is not a municipality to ask voters to approve extra taxes.

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