The players

Michigan consumers are served by nine investor-owned utilities (IOUs), just over a dozen rural cooperatives (COOPs) and over 40 municipal electric utilities (MUNIs). While municipally owned utilities are not subject to regulation by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), all COOPs and IOUs are regulated by the agency.

Michigan’s private IOUs control the vast majority of the electric marketplace with 3.8 million customers and just over $6 billion in revenues relative to the 242,000 customers and $189 million controlled by the COOPs. Appendix A lists complete 1995 data 1995 for Michigan’s IOUs and COOPs, including total customers, revenues, and MWH sales (See Chart 3.)

Yet, in reality, when discussing deregulation and who will be the primary industry players in the debate, it should be clear to all parties involved that the Detroit Edison Company and Consumers Energy (a division of the CMS Energy Corporation) are the proverbial kings of the hill. (Note: Consumers Energy was formerly known as Consumers Power and is still often referred to as such in reports and studies). As Chart 2 illustrates, Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy together hold almost 90 percent of the market. In terms of both revenues and geographic coverage (the size of their territorial monopoly), Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy are often thought of as the Michigan electricity market.