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Utility to use $70M voluntary refund on tree trimming

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Nov 08, 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Public Service Commission has approved an accounting measure that allows DTE Electric Co. to provide a one-time, $70 million voluntary refund to be spent on tree trimming.

The commission says the tree trimming is part of the company’s efforts to boost system reliability after power outages during severe storms across southeastern Michigan.

DTE Electric had requested approval of a one-time regulatory liability and accounting authority to use a portion of unexpectedly higher profits from changed electricity use patterns of its retail customers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The utility says the money would fund an additional surge in tree trimming in response to the summer’s storms.