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DETROIT EDISON FILES WITH MPSC FOR LOWER ELECTRIC RATES

 DETROIT EDISON FILES WITH MPSC FOR LOWER ELECTRIC RATES
 DETROIT, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Detroit Edison (NYSE: DTE) today


filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) a $146 million rate reduction for 1993, followed by a requested 1994 increase under which the utility's 1.9 million customers would still pay less for electricity than they do today. If approved, customers' savings over the two years would total $178 million.
 The rate filings include the first main electric rate case by Detroit Edison since the MPSC approved a negotiated settlement in late 1988. Rates have remained relatively stable under the settlement, which expires at the end of 1993.
 If the new rates are approved, the average monthly electric bill for the typical residential customer using 500 kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity per month -- currently $48.74 -- would be $46.98 in 1993 and $48.67 in 1994.
 On an aggregate basis, overall rates -- including those for business -- would drop by $146 million in 1993, then rise by $114 million in 1994, for a cumulative savings of $178 million over two years.
 "In this day and age, when even mild inflation pushes up the costs of virtually all goods and services, electric bills for Detroit Edison customers will be going down," said Larry G. Garberding, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
 Garberding said the lower rates were made possible by companywide efforts to reduce costs and improve operations, aided by the regulatory environment created by the 1988 rate settlement. Results, he said, have included:
 -- Significantly lower expenses -- especially using more low-cost, low-sulfur western coal.
 -- Power plants that rank among the most efficient in the United States.
 -- Steady improvement in the performance of the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant.
 -- A comprehensive refinancing program to reduce interest costs.
 -- A smaller, more effective work force committed to improving productivity and customer service. The company currently has 20 percent fewer employees than five years ago, down 2,300 from 11,500.
 "The lower rates not only will make Detroit Edison more competitive with other energy suppliers, but also will help its business customers hold the line on their own costs and prices," Garberding said. "This will contribute to improving the state's economic environment and ability to attract business and jobs."
 The proposed rates include pricing changes to help customers reduce their bills still further by shifting use from periods of peak demand to times when demand is lower. These include time-of-use rates that are lower Monday through Friday evenings and on weekends, as well as seasonal rates -- lower during the seven months between November and May and higher from June through October, when warmer weather increases demand for air conditioning.
 Garberding said many customers who reduce or shift their electricity use from peak-demand periods will see lower bills, while all Detroit Edison customers will benefit as the utility defers building new power plants by controlling peak demand. The utility already has said it does not intend to build any new plants at least through the end of the century.
 In addition, Detroit Edison said it will file a series of demand- side management (DSM) programs with the MPSC later this year. The programs will offer further incentives for customers to reduce or shift their electricity use and lower their electric bills even more.
 Garberding said the costs of customer incentives and administering the DSM program, while narrowing the 1994 rate reduction compared with current rates, will not eliminate the reduction.
 In requesting additional revenues for 1994, the company said they were needed to cover increased costs associated with implementing required accounting changes related to post-retirement benefits and for increased nuclear plant decommissioning costs. In addition, the revenues would pay for the final installment of the Fermi 2 power plant rate phase-in specified by the 1988 rate settlement, and for the costs associated with the return to the utility's rate base of the Greenwood power plant, which recently was converted to burn natural gas in addition to residual oil.
 -0- 7/1/92
 /NOTE: A graph depicting the U.S. Consumer Price Index vs. Index of Detroit Edison Average Annual Residential Price Per kWh of Electricity is available through, CONTACT: Robert A. Dobkin, 313-237-7151, or Lorie N. Kessler, 313-237-8807, both of Detroit Edison/
 (DTE) CO: The Detroit Edison Company ST: Michigan IN: UTI SU:


ML-SM -- DE005 -- 5559 07/01/92 10:04 EDT
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Date:Jul 1, 1992
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