DTE Energy’s Jerry Norcia talks rate increase, plans to improve power grid

Norcia says a recently approved rate hike for the utility will benefit infrastructure, being put towards new technology and tree trimming.

DTE Energy President and CEO Jerry Norcia speaks at a Detroit Economic Club meeting.

Michigan’s Public Service Commission recently approved a DTE Energy rate increase of 6.4%. That raised an average consumer’s electrical bills by nearly $80 per year, but it was less than the price bump the utility requested.

Jerry Norcia is the president and CEO of DTE Energy. While regulators did approve a smaller increase in 2022, he says the utility was overdue for a larger rate hike.

“It allows us to continue making the significant investments in the [power] grid that we have been making,” says Norcia. “We plan to invest another $9 billion in the grid.”

Listen: Jerry Norcia talks with WDET’s Alex McLenon after speaking at the Detroit Economic Club.

Norcia says that investment is planned over the coming years. He has also stated that he wants the utility to start burying power lines where it’s possible, in order to better protect infrastructure from severe weather events.

While DTE Energy is not allowed to raise its rates without approval from state regulators, the utility does actively contribute money to politics. It is reported that DTE spent $580,000 on lobbying initiatives in 2023, although it has been suspected of using additional money through nonprofits.

Norcia says the utility engaging in politics is in the best interest of consumers.

“We’re always acting on behalf of Michigan customers,” said Norcia. “What’s good for Michigan customers is good for DTE.”

Last year, DTE Energy shareholders rejected a proposal that would’ve required increased transparency around campaign contributions. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has been critical of the utility’s transparency — including additional measures in a settlement reached last summer.

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  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.