Breaking Down the 2016 Energy Law Part 2: The Role of the MPSC

Sometimes when we’re talking about energy, it gets difficult to keep track of all those crazy acronyms. Today, we’re throwing another one into the mix—MPSC.

That’s short for the Michigan Public Service Commission, one of the key organizations shaping Michigan’s energy future.

The mission of the MPSC is to “grow Michigan’s economy and enhance the quality of life of its communities by assuring safe and reliable energy, telecommunications, and transportation services at reasonable rates.”

The MPSC helps provide a balanced outlook on how important energy policies are implemented to ensure they meet their intended objectives. One of their priorities is ensuring that important energy policies (like the 2016 energy law) are implemented in ways that treat all Michigan consumers fairly.

Here’s another handy way to break down this acronym to remember what it means!

M Stands for Many Ways of Looking at Issues

The MPSC includes five divisions that tackle every side of energy-related issues: electric reliability, operations and wholesale markets, telecommunications, financial analysis and audit, and regulated energy.

P Stands for Positively NOT Political

The MPSC is a non-partisan group of three individuals appointed by the governor, each serving a six-year term. Even though each person is appointed, there’s a catch to prevent a political party takeover. No more than two of the three appointees can be from the same party. The goal of the MPSC is to ensure fairness in energy policy for all Michiganders, not to win political battles.

S Stands for Stop #1 on the Route to Energy Upgrades

Before a local energy company can make any major updates or changes, they must submit a plan to the MPSC that ensures their project won’t harm the affordability, reliability, or sustainability of Michigan energy. Take the St. Clair County natural gas plant as just one example. The MPSC approved this project earlier this year after extensive hearings and input from stakeholders on all sides.

C Stands for Local Control

Responsible regulation is part of what keeps energy affordable, reliable, and sustainable. That means generating and managing the power that Michigan uses in Michigan. Local energy companies are accountable to the MPSC in ways that out-of-state companies are not, and the MPSC looks at everything through the lens of what will put Michigan—and Michiganders—first.

What’s the bottom line? The MPSC makes all decisions impacting Michigan energy with affordability, reliability, and sustainability—and Michigan’s unique energy needs—in mind. Check out the AMP blog for more details on the MPSC and the 2016 energy law.