"Rep. Gary GLENN (R-Midland), the vice chair of House Energy, said he isn't going to presume the two incumbent utilities (Consumers Energy and DTE) have the exclusive right to address the upcoming energy capacity shortfall. Rather, he asked about a competitive bidding process for all electric providers and let the market decide what is a 'competitive' electric rate, not what is an 'affordable' rate, which is determined by what (the utilities) 'believe it costs them to do business.'
'Both utilities insist they would win these competitive bid processes,' Glenn said. 'If that's true, then why would they not support an open competitive bid process?'
As it stands, Michigan has the highest residential electric rates in the Midwest and the country's 11th highest, Glenn said. That's why he'd like to explore opening up the market to multiple providers to compete and whether that process would be better for ratepayers.
'You cannot fault the utilities for wanting to maintain the system or go to a completely regulated market,' he said. 'Who can blame a business for wanting to have the government guarantee them a customer base for the next half century?'"