Large Natural Gas Opt-Out FAQs

Large Natural Gas Opt-Out FAQs

No, this program only applies to your natural gas accounts. If you like, you can also apply to the Electric Self-Directed program, a similar program for electric accounts. Or you can continue to participate in our electric energy efficiency programs.
Yes. We like working with you to save your business energy, and we’ll welcome you back. You’ll just need to fill out a simple form and return it to us at the address provided on the form. Then you’ll resume paying the energy efficiency surcharge retroactive to January 1 of the year you opt back in.
You will, after this, no longer be eligible for the Large Natural Gas Opt-Out program. But you’ll again be able to participate in our many energy efficiency incentives, rebates and other energy savings programs.
Yes, no problem. Simply fill out the same request form then return it to us at the address provided on the form.
As many as you like, as long as all meet the eligibility requirements.
Yes. Unless you’ve also applied to the Electric Self-Directed program, you remain eligible for all electric energy efficiency incentives, rebates and other electric programs.
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. 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 expire upon termination of the opt-out status. 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 energy efficiency programs.
No, to participate in the Large Natural Gas Opt-Out 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. You can find total savings across all sites however you like, whether that’s deep natural gas 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 0.75%.
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.
Your minimum savings remains unchanged. You’ll still be required to achieve the same savings goal your first year. If that doesn’t seem achievable to you, no problem. When applying to the program, simply choose to have it take effect on January 1 of the following year.
Not everything that might reduce your natural gas use automatically counts toward your required annual savings. For example, if you close a site or decrease overall production, you can’t apply that reduction toward your required savings. We’re looking for efficiencies that would remain even if you increased your production back up to its previous level.

Also not eligible are measures that require fuel-switching or electric self-generation. However, if you have an existing electric self-generating piece of equipment that uses natural gas as its fuel source, you can claim measures that save natural gas by improving the system’s efficiency.
The Michigan Public Service Commission reviews your annual report of your energy efficiency programs, just as it does with Consumers Energy. If your savings fall short of the required 0.75% annual improvement, the Commission may hold a hearing and may require you to opt back in to our program and pay the surcharge and energy efficiency programs. At that point, you’d again become eligible for all of our natural gas energy efficiency rebates and other programs.