While some changes are needed to accommodate Customer Choice, it is important to note that many things are not changing. Keep in mind that if you switch to an Alternative Electric Supplier (AES), delivery of electricity to your home or business will not change. You will remain an Alpena Power Company customer for delivery and customer service functions.
Alpena Power Company will continue to:
- Operate and maintain the poles, wires and transformers that deliver the electricity to your home or business.
- Own and read your electric meter and provide various customer services.
- Respond to power outage reports and other electric emergencies.
- Bill you for distribution and customer service, even if you switch to an AES.
- Provide you with the same high level of customer service.
New Bill Format
Customer Choice requires a new bill format for customers of Alpena Power Company. In general, there is more information on your bill because the services that previously were shown as a single charge now are “unbundled” to show separate line items for distribution/customer service and power supply. Breaking out the distribution and power supply components separately allows you to directly compare electricity prices regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) with market-based prices that may be offered by competitive suppliers.
Customers served by an AES typically will receive two electric bills – one from the AES for production and transmission, and one from Alpena Power Company for delivery.
New Issues to Consider
Electricity providers must be licensed by the MPSC to sell electricity in Michigan. The MPSC has the authority to “decertify” an AES if they do not perform as required. Ultimately, however, some responsibility rests on the consumer to ask questions and carefully consider the available information so they are able to make an informed choice.
The MPSC maintains an updated Web Site list of currently licensed AES companies.
- Rules govern how a customer can change suppliers. There are also rules about how and at what price a customer can return to Alpena Power Company for service.
- You may receive phone solicitations from an AES. If contacted by an AES, ask questions, make sure you understand the terms of the AES contract, and gather enough information to make an informed choice.