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DETROIT EDISON PARTNERS WITH CUSTOMERS TO HELP MICHIGAN'S ECONOMY

 DETROIT, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Detroit Edison (NYSE: DTE) Chairman John E. Lobbia today said the utility is forging new partnerships with its customers to reduce energy costs and help keep jobs and business in southeastern Michigan.
 "In our partnerships with customers, we begin with the basic premise to provide all customers with superior value," he told shareholders at the company's annual meeting.
 To this end, Detroit Edison last year sought and obtained approval for an industrial interruptible electric rate. This rate offers reduced-cost electricity to qualifying customers in exchange for their accepting service interruptions in periods of high electric demand.
 "It's a good example of innovative pricing that meets the specific needs of a specific group of customers without harm to the interests of all customers," Lobbia said. "It helps to make our industrial customers more competitive in the global marketplace and our area more attractive to industry, improving the overall economy and job creation in southeastern Michigan."
 In addition, he said, Detroit Edison's most recent successful cost- cutting efforts have enabled the utility to lower rates this year for all customers by about $170 million, or 5 percent. He voiced the utility's commitment to intensifying cost-reduction actions and continuing to reduce rates in the future.
 In his review of the company's financial performance, Larry G. Garberding, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said that with the rate reduction, the company's rate of return can be expected to begin reverting to more traditional levels in 1993.
 To foster partnerships, the utility also has joined with customers on a variety of projects to increase their efficiency and competitiveness. For example, Detroit Edison helped General Motors build a line to bring steam from one plant to a second plant, avoiding the delays and higher costs of constructing a new steam-producing facility.
 Lobbia said he sees opportunities for new manufacturing technologies and energy-efficient products with passage of the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 and its emphasis on efficiency in energy production and consumption.
 Detroit Edison wants to help Michigan capture some of the billions of dollars in federal energy technology funds that will be available, he said. The utility seeks to coordinate public and private interests and formulate a strategy that benefits the state.
 "Michigan's core competency in technology and manufacturing places it in a position to benefit from those opportunities," he said.
 Lobbia said the utility remains committed to excellence in service reliability and improved customer access. He cited the three-year, $230 million reliability improvement program, which he noted is about 45 percent complete. Power outages have been reduced nearly 40 percent and the length of outages by 65 percent since the improvement program began in 1991, he said.
 The utility improved customer access by installing a new interactive telephone system capable of handling up to 40,000 calls per hour, increasing the number of customer representatives and expanding its hours.
 Lobbia said the utility's coal-fired power plants continue to strengthen their performance and collectively rank among the nation's 10 most efficient for four consecutive years. The Fermi 2 nuclear power plant last year received its best-ever annual "report card" from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- its third consecutive improvement.
 At the annual meeting, shareholders acted on three proposals:
 -- Re-elected five directors, including Lillian Bauder, president and chief executive officer, Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; David Bing, chairman, Bing Steel Inc., Detroit; Garberding; Alan E. Schwartz, partner, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, Detroit; and William Wegner, consultant and owner of W-Squared Inc., Fredericksburg, Va.
 -- Ratified Price Waterhouse as independent accountants for 1993.
 -- Rejected by a large majority a proposal to adopt and implement a policy of separating the positions of chief executive officer and chairman of the board. The proposal called for electing the chairman from the outside, independent board members.
 -0- 4/26/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Kay Bean, 313-237-8809, or Lorie N. Kessler, 313-237-8807, both of Detroit Edison/
 (DTE)


CO: Detroit Edison ST: Michigan IN: UTI SU:

DH-SM -- DE014 -- 0680 04/26/93 12:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 26, 1993
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