Good news for DTE Energy customers: They can expect a nearly 9% drop in their April gas bills.
The utility announced today that it is lowering the gas rate, something made possible by falling natural gas prices and the company's efforts to store natural gas when prices are at their lowest.
The rate was reduced by 8.8% to $3.23 per thousand cubic feet from $3.54, effective April 1. The savings will impact both residential and business customers, officials said.
"We take pride in purchase strategies that effectively manage the price our customers pay," Mark Stiers, DTE Gas president and chief operating officer, said in a news release. "We charge customers only the price we pay for gas, and when those costs are lowered, we pass those savings on to our customers."
Natural gas prices have fallen steadily since 2008 as domestic production increased from newfound sources, officials said.
The utility said it "uses Michigan’s unique geology" to store large amounts of natural gas underground until it is needed. This allows the company to avoid buying gas at higher rates during the winter when demand is at the peak.
Residential customers’ overall natural gas bills have dropped by 27%, or about $300 annually, over the past 10 years as the cost for the natural gas DTE buys has declined, officials said.
During that time, according to the utility, customers have seen declines in natural gas costs almost every year.
DTE natural gas customers' bills reflect the cost and amount of the natural gas used, along with the severity of the weather, which impacts energy use.
Customers can find information about how to save energy by going to www.dteenergy.com/saveenergy.
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Contact staff writer Ann Zaniewski at 313-222-6594 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski.