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The Truth About Energy Utilities

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If you’re a resident of the United States, chances are you’re familiar with how you get your energy every month. Use electricity, receive bills from the energy monopoly, pay a mysterious amount, and repeat. In most cases, that’s as far as most of our knowledge about energy utilities goes. Not great, right?

At MSS, we believe in complete and honest transparency when it comes to supplying homes and businesses with power. That’s why we’re giving you a brief breakdown of the real truth about energy utilities and how they operate!

The Companies

Simply put, traditional energy providers are either public companies, Co-Ops or municipally owned; the vast majority of energy in Michigan comes from the publicly owned utilities that are regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Like all publicly owned companies, their fiduciary responsibility is to make a profit for their shareholders. In Michigan, these energy utilities shouldn’t be allowed to monopolize the industry. In many cases, solar installation companies are the only competition they have ever had.

The Cost Confusion

If you’re a homeowner, you receive your energy bill every month and pay it. Maybe you glance at the breakdown of the costs, or maybe your account just automatically draws what you owe without a second thought. Either way, the cost is confusing by design. What are all the line items like Power Supply Capacity Charges, Power Supply Non Capacity Charges, LIEAF Factor charges, and what are the  ‘Other Volumetric Surcharges’?  Most bills don’t include an explanation of your rate structure, so you could be paying more for electricity during the day vs. at night without even knowing. If you want to get a full breakdown of your rate structure? Try to find your rate in the mandatory published rate book.  It can be several hundred pages long.

The Choice

You DO have a choice. While it’s not practical to electrically go fully off the grid, you don’t need to be 100% dependent on a utility company either. By going solar, you can implement a battery system that acts as the grid; receiving the extra solar power and supplying it back to the home as needed.  You still need the utility company to supply power, like when your solar isn’t producing and your battery has been discharged supplying power to the home well into the night. In situations like this, changing your rate structure to a Time-of-Day (or Time-of-Use) rate works very well with a solar array. This is because the rates are lower when your solar isn’t producing and more expensive during peak energy usage times when your solar is producing. These batteries can also be simultaneously programmed for emergency backup, giving you peace of mind.

Michigan Solar Solutions is proud to be your top destination for clean, green energy.

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