The MPSC: Your Questions Answered!

No policy decision affecting how Michigan produces and uses energy is made overnight. In fact, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into keeping energy affordable, reliable, and sustainable.

The Michigan Public Service Commission—MPSC for short—is one of the key organizations that shapes Michigan’s energy future. So, let’s dive into some questions and answers and find out more about how the MPSC works with Michigan’s energy sector and protects Michigan consumers.

Question: What is the MPSC?

Answer: Established in 1939, this non-partisan organization includes three officials appointed by the governor. Their mission is to keep energy and telecommunications rates fair for consumers in the Wolverine State. Each appointee is selected to serve a six-year term, and—to ensure the commission is truly bi-partisan—no more than two of the appointees may represent the same political party.

Question: What role does the MPSC play in Michigan’s energy landscape?

Answer: Before a local energy company can build a new plant, invest in new technologies, or make significant changes to the way it generates or supplies energy that will affect consumers, the MPSC reviews the proposed changes to ensure they will not negatively impact energy safety, reliability, or affordability for Michiganders.

Question: How does the MPSC influence the implementation of Michigan energy policy?

Answer: The MPSC works on the frontlines when it comes to balancing priorities that can often conflict with each other, like keeping energy reliable and affordable while also integrating more clean and renewable energy into Michigan’s energy mix. The MPSC is responsible for interpreting energy policies—like Michigan’s 2016 energy law—and ensuring they are implemented in ways that treat all Michigan consumers fairly. The MPSC takes into account many different factors when considering proposed investments or changes to Michigan’s energy system, from current and future market conditions to Michigan’s goals concerning sustainability to a proposal’s potential impact on different groups. They take input from everyone involved in an energy debate and do their best to find the common ground that will benefit all affected audiences.