Electric

Self-Direct Program for Business Customers

Energy conservation legislation enacted by the Michigan legislature allows DTE Electric customers to self-direct and implement their own energy optimization plan.

Customers who choose to self-direct are exempt from the mandatory energy optimization electric surcharge(s), with the exception of a portion of the surcharge that funds the low-income programs as well as the associated cost to administer the program.

Additional Information

More information on incentives and services available with our Energy Optimization program is listed on our Compare Incentives Option page. Note: Customers choosing the self-direct option are not eligible for incentives or rebates.
 

More details about the Self-Direct Program rules may be found on the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) website, including:

  • Michigan Law, PA 295 Section 93, describes requirements of the Self-Direct Program.
  • Temporary order providing detail of the Self-Direct Program.
  • Specific Text Excerpts from temporary order (Case U-15800) issued by the MPSC on Dec. 4, 2008. Pages 35 to 37 of the order include information on “Self-Direct Energy Optimization Plans.” Pages 7 to 13 of Attachment E, covers Section 4, “Self-Direct Energy Optimization Plan for Electric Customers.”

Energy Optimization Service Company (EOSC)
The Michigan Public Service Commission established an approval process for energy optimization service companies. Please visit the MPSC website to learn more about energy optimization service companies.To understand the requirements to become an approved EOSC, please visit the MPSC EOSC website.
 

Related Links

  • Non-residential electric customers of DTE Energy.
  • Must have a satisfactory bill payment history.
  • Annual peak demand of 1 megawatt (MW) or greater per single site or annual peak demand of 1 MW or greater per aggregated sites of customers.
  • Do not include sites or accounts in your self-direct plan that received an energy optimization (EO) rebate or incentive from an electric provider and are within the calculated waiting period. The waiting period in months is equal to the total rebate amount divided by the current month’s EO surcharge. If the waiting period will lapse after the self-direct plan filing deadline, but before the self-direct plan year begins on Jan. 1, a customer may include those sites or accounts during the upcoming plan period.
  • Secure the services of an energy optimization service company to develop and implement your self-direct plan if your site is less than 1 MW or less than 1 MW aggregated. A plan consisting of multiple customers is required to use the services of an energy optimization service company.

Note: Only customer plans with single sites greater than 2 MW or greater than 10 MW in aggregate are exempt from securing an energy optimization service company.
 


Minimum incremental (new each year) savings of self-direct plans must meet or exceed the energy savings performance standards based on annual usage. To get an idea of your minimum savings requirements, multiply your annual electric use by the following percentages or complete the application. Project savings are annualized.
 

Plan Year Percentage
2017 1.0 percent
2018 1.0 percent

For more information, see our Self-Direct Program surcharges.
 


  • Understand the Self-Direct Program requirements as described by Michigan Law.
  • If you choose to self-direct, you will not be able to apply for incentive rebates for electrical energy-saving projects from DTE Energy.
  • Secure services of an energy optimization services company if your site is less than 2 megawatts (MW) or less than 10 MW in aggregate.
  • Select one of the following two methods to establish your base annual usage:
  • Complete one application for each plan.
  • Plans expiring Dec. 31 of the current year have the following options to extend the plan:
    • Option 1: Complete a new application and submit by July 15 of current year.
    • Option 2: Amend your plan with updated base usage and submit for approval by July 15 of current year.

Timeline

  • Open Enrollment Period and submission of your self-direct plan is June 15 to July 15
  • All plans must be signed and post marked by July 15
  • Approve plans by Sept. 1
  • Self-Direct Program starts Jan. 1

Application Submission Address
Please send the completed plan(s) to:

DTE Energy Efficiency Program for Business
Attention: Self-Direct Program
P.O. Box 11289
Detroit, MI 48211
Email: saveenergy@dteenergy.com

NOTE: To expedite the process, a signed PDF copy may be emailed. However, a signed original copy still must be mailed to the above address.

Contact Us
If you have questions about submitting your plan, call our program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option “3” to request a Self-Direct Program manager). You can also email us your questions.


Annual Report: Implemented Savings Projects
Every year, you are required to submit an annual report of implemented savings projects. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has the statutory authority to assess penalties of up to two times the normal energy optimization surcharge in proportion of the shortfall in achieving your minimum energy optimization savings goals. You are encouraged to plan for savings that exceed the minimum savings goal. There is no penalty for not achieving your planned savings when you meet the minimum goal. Reports are due 60 days after the last day of term covered by your report. Reports are due March 1.

Amendments to Plans
Amendments may be used to increase or reduce the terms of a plan. Amended plans are multi-year plans and should be two years or longer. Amendments are required to avoid plan expirations and also should be accompanied with notifications of failure to meet the minimum Energy Optimization standard, partial terminations or changes in base usage. Plan amendments are required every two years to update energy usage and minimum savings requirements.

Termination Notice: Self-Direct Energy Optimization Program
This notice allows a customer to voluntarily return to the providers Energy Optimization (EO) program. Upon return to the providers EO program, the customer becomes eligible for incentives provided by the utilitys EO program and is responsible to pay applicable energy optimization surcharges from which they previously had been exempt. The customer still is liable for savings shortfalls that may have occurred during the Self-Direct Program. Full termination notices should include an annual report listing measures implemented up to termination. Partial terminations should include a plan amendment. Terminations become effective when the request is approved by DTE Energy. Once terminated, the full EO surcharges will be applied to your bill on the next billing cycle. Please contact the business team for reporting requirements.

The Michigan Public Service Commission may require additional information about your plans and reports from the provider or customer.


The annual report must be submitted by March 1 of every year (this became effective in 2012) and cover the prior year of your plan. Last years templates are available below for reference. Templates for the year 2017 are currently available on this site.
All reports must be submitted using the reporting template linked below:

Timeline
All reports must be signed and post marked by March 1, 2018.

Annual Report Submission Address

DTE Energy Efficiency Program for Businesses Team
Attention: Self-Direct Program
P.O. Box 11289
Detroit, MI 48211
Email: saveenergy@dteenergy.com
Fax: 877.607.0744

NOTE: To expedite the process, a signed PDF copy may be emailed or faxed. A signed original copy still must be mailed to the above address.

Contact Us
If you have questions about submitting your plan, call our program hotline at 866.796.0512 (press option “3” to request a Self-Direct Program manager). You can also email us your questions.


Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is a satisfactory bill payment history? 
A satisfactory bill payment history is defined as a customer’s account that has not been delinquent in the previous 12 months. 

What surcharges am I exempt from?
The self-directed customer is exempt from all electric Energy Optimization Program surcharges with the exception of a contribution to the Low-Income Energy Optimization Program and the cost of DTE Energy’s review and evaluation of the customer’s self-direct program plans and reports.

Does the Self-Direct Program include natural gas?
No. It is an electric only program.

How will I know if my plan or annual report is complete?
DTE Energy will notify you after review of your plan or report via the contact information provided in your application.

What happens when the term of my self-directed plan ends?
You have the option to amend your plan to a longer term or submit a new plan during the open enrollment period. If neither occurs, you will begin receiving the full energy optimization surcharge on Jan. 1 and also be eligible to receive full program benefits. 

How long do I have to stay in the Self-Direct Program?
The customer is required to remain in the Self-Direct Program for the length they choose for their multiyear plan (two or more years). You may amend your plan to no less than two years or terminate your plan.

Energy Optimization (Incentive) Programs

If I self-direct, can I take advantage of incentives offered for gas savings?
Yes. You may still participate in gas programs since electric customers may only submit Self-Direct Program.

What if I applied for an incentive at one of the sites I intend to include in my self-direct plan?
Sites or accounts that received an energy optimization (EO) incentive may not be eligible to enroll in the self-direct program if they have not paid at least 60 continuous months of full EO surcharges prior to enrollment.

Can I apply for an incentive or other service in DTE Energy’s Energy Optimization Program?
Only those sites that are not included in a self-directed plan can apply for incentives or other services.

Energy Savings Requirements

What happens if I do not meet my minimum energy savings requirement?
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) may hold a contested hearing and may charge one to two times the normal program surcharge against the proportional of the savings shortfall. There are no penalties for not meeting your planned savings goal as long as implemented savings meets or exceeds the minimum. 

How will my savings be evaluated?
DTE Energy will review your annual reports and plans to make sure the required documentation is provided. All plans and reports are subject to evaluation and field verification.

Should I submit more than the minimum savings?
Yes, if you expect to achieve them. You must at least reach the minimum annual savings to avoid possible penalties. There are no penalties for not meeting planned savings in excess of the minimum.

Can implemented savings in excess of a year's goal be carried forward?
Yes, savings in excess of the minimum standard may be carried forward one year in an amount not to exceed one-third of the next year's minimum standard. The Michigan Public Service Commission is considering a new carry-forward policy. It would allow savings claimed in, or deferred to, a successive plan year not to exceed four consecutive years following the plan year in which the savings occurred. The excess savings deferred to future plan years must begin with the first successive year and shall be used in the shortest time period possible. The eligible measures deferred shall have a measure life of six years or more.

Do I have to find the minimum savings at each of the sites in my plan?
No, the implemented savings to meet the goal may be collected from the sites of your choosing, as long as the sites are included in your plan.

Can I include projects installed before my plan is approved and the plan year starts?
No. 

Can I install energy savings projects in one year and claim the savings for multiple years?
No, savings are incremental and must be new each year with one exception. You are permitted to carry excess savings forward.

Can I report zero savings on my plan for one year and make those savings up the next year?
No, you are required to report incremental savings for each year of the plan and are subject to penalties in years you do not meet at least your minimum standard. You are permitted to carry excess savings forward.

Sites and Accounts

Can I delete sites or accounts? Can I terminate my plan?
Yes, a termination request letter is required and must be followed by a plan amendment for partial terminations or an annual report for full plan terminations. For assistance with all deletions and terminations, please contact the DTE Energy Efficiency Program for Businesses Team via email or call the program hotline at 866.796.0512 (select option 3).

Can I add sites and or accounts?
Yes, during an open enrollment period for the following years. 

Can multiple single sites greater than 1 megawatt be included on one form?
No, each site requires that a separate plan and form be completed. If the combination is greater than 5 megawatts (MW), then they may be aggregated into one plan and form.

How many of my sites must I include?
As many as you wish, as long as the aggregated peak demand is greater than 5 MW.

What meters must be included in my plan?
When selecting a site to self-direct, all associated meters must be included.

Site Energy Consumption

How will I estimate baseline energy use at each site?
Two options are available: a three-year average or a weather-adjusted single year’s usage.

What do I use for the base year electric usage if the site is new to me and has only been operable part of a year?
Make a reasonable estimate of baseline usage. Suggestions include using energy usage per square foot from similar facilities or extrapolating usage based on a partial year’s usage and factoring in the appropriate cooling degree days for your area. You can then amend your plan as better data becomes available. See the plan application for guidance.

Annual Reports

What happens if I do not submit an annual report by March 1?
Your savings will not be reported to the Michigan Public Service Commission and will be subject to penalties for not achieving your minimum savings goal.

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