U.P. Energy Summit brings focus to consumers

Dozens of utility industry representatives learned about major changes coming to the upper Midwest.

The U.P. Energy Summit is held every year in Marquette. The focus of the summit was to discuss the variety of developments with utility companies, and more specifically, how these changes affect Upper Michigan.

“Energy is vitally important to our lives,” American Transmission Company’ external relations manager Brett French said. “Everything we do is dependant upon having access to energy. Energy that is reliable and affordable. As a result, people come out to learn more about the developments with the utilities and to get a sense for what they will see in the future.”

There is more to it than just the company’s plans. Some of the attendees say they want to make sure that these companies are regulated throughout the process.

“Well, one thing is reliability. The second thing is affordability,” Michigan Public Service Commission chairman John Quackenbush said. “Everyone does not think much about their electric power until there is an outage. We’re focused on, when there is an outage, to have a short duration and fewer outages. On the affordability side, costs get recovered from the customers, but we want to scrutinize the costs to make sure they are reasonable and the end price is affordable for customers.”

If you have any questions regarding your energy providers or what changes you may be facing as a consumer, contact the Michigan Public Service Commission.