Electric Self-Directed FAQs

Electric Self-Directed FAQs

No, this program only applies to your electric accounts. If you like, you can also apply to the Large Gas Opt-Out program, a similar program for natural gas accounts. Or you can continue to participate in Consumers Energy’s natural gas energy efficiency programs.
You will need one or a similar device to participate in this program. Contact us, and we’ll work with you to get one set up.
During the open enrollment period, you’ll have the option of amending your current plan to a longer term, or submitting a new plan. If you do neither, then your plan will end on January 1. You’ll again start paying the standard energy efficiency surcharges. You will be eligible once again to participate in our energy efficiency programs, receiving incentives, rebates and technical support.
When you apply to the program, you select your own term, which must be at least two years. You can amend your plan to lengthen or shorten the term of the plan, as long as it’s no less than two years. Or you can terminate the plan and return to paying surcharges and participating in our energy efficiency program.
Yes. Unless you’ve also applied to the Large Natural Gas Opt-Out program, you remain eligible for all natural gas energy efficiency incentives, rebates and other electric programs.
No problem. That incentive or rebate is funded by the surcharges you’re applying to opt out of paying, but we can work this out. We’ll just ask you to wait until January 1 of the next year before you opt-out with that account. You will have to have paid enough surcharges into the energy efficiency program to cover your incentives and the associated waiting period. If you’re not sure whether your account will qualify, just contact us and we’ll help you figure it out.
We’ll review your annual reports to make sure you’ve properly documented your savings. Sometimes, we may need to conduct a field verification and evaluation.
Yes, absolutely. If your energy efficiency measures exceed the current reporting year’s required savings, you can claim or defer the excess to a successive year, not to exceed four consecutive years following the year in which the savings occurred.

To be eligible for deferral, efficiency measures have to have a lifespan of six or more years. They can’t be changes in maintenance only, or changes in operating practices that are not accompanied by new physical energy management controls or systems.

Excess savings deferred to a future plan year must begin with the first successive year and be used in the shortest time period possible. Excess savings cannot be deferred to years that exceed the term of the self-directed plan. Excess savings expire upon termination of the self-directed plan. Report the distribution of excess savings in your first annual report following installation of the eligible measure. Once declared, the savings distribution can’t be revised.
No. Unlike excess savings, which may be deferred (see previous question), recurring savings from the same energy efficiency measure apply only to the year in which they are installed. We very much hope that most of your savings are indeed recurring. However, we want you to find additional energy efficiency savings each year, just as we do with our traditional energy efficiency programs.
No. You can find total savings across all sites however you like, whether that’s deep electric savings at one site, smaller savings at all sites, or anything in between. You’ll meet the requirement as long as your total improved efficiency across all sites achieves annual savings of 1%.
No, to participate in the Electric Self-Directed program, you have to show savings each year. You can defer excess savings to a future year (see above), but you cannot apply anticipated future savings to the present year.
No, sorry. Those energy efficiency projects were installed when you were still covered under Consumers Energy’s energy efficiency program. You’ll need to find your required energy efficiency improvements with new projects installed or started after your Electric Self-Directed program begins.
Yes. We’ll simply need from you a full or partial termination letter. If you’re only removing sites or accounts but continuing with the program, we’ll also need a plan amendment. If you’re terminating your plan entirely, we’ll need your annual report. We’re happy to work with you on this. Contact us for help.
Yes, you can add sites or accounts during the annual open enrollment period, taking effect the following year.
Yes, your single site or multiple sites, totaling at least one megawatt-hour peak demand annually, may all be included in the same Electric Self-Directed plan and included on the same form.
You may include any number of your sites that you like, as long as the total peak demand is at least one megawatt-hour.
In short: do your best. Make a reasonable estimate of your base usage. You can take into account energy usage per square foot from other similar facilities or calculate usage based on a partial year’s usage and factor in the appropriate cooling degree days for your area. Then amend your plan as better data becomes available. See the plan application for further guidance.
No problem. Simply annualize the calculated energy savings for the year. The intention of this program is that you’ll install measures that will keep on saving energy year after year. So we’re less concerned with whether your new project saved you energy for six months or twelve in this calendar year. We want to know how much it’s going to save you annually, hopefully for many years to come.
Without a report, we won’t be able to report your savings to the Michigan Public Service Commission, which may then impose penalties on you for not achieving your savings goals. So please submit your annual reports by March 1.
The Michigan Public Service Commission reviews your annual report of your energy efficiency programs, just as it does with ours. If your savings fall short of the required 1% annual improvement, the Commission may hold a hearing and may charge you up to twice the normal energy efficiency surcharge, based on the proportion of your savings shortfall.