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Michigan Commission Directs Staff to Draft Cybersecurity Rules

Cybersecurity threats pose a national challenge to the reliability and safety of electric and natural gas infrastructure

The Michigan Public Service Commission has directed the MPSC staff to develop rules concerning annual cybersecurity reporting to strengthen utility programs to protect against unwanted cyber intrusions on system operations and records.  The Commission today adopted the order in case U-18203.

"It is of paramount concern to the MPSC that utilities and other energy providers protect their gas and electric systems, customers and the public at large from a cybersecurity attack," said Sally Talberg, chairman of the MPSC.  "With natural gas and electric utilities facing cybersecurity threats and attempted intrusions into computer systems on an almost daily basis it is a question of when - not whether - an attack will occur."

Chairman Talberg said that cybersecurity threats pose a national challenge to the reliability and safety of electric and natural gas infrastructure and federal and state governments need to work collaboratively with utilities to develop programs to address security issues.

The rules crafted by the MPSC staff will include an annual report that consists of an overview of the electric or gas provider's cybersecurity program; a list of the company's cybersecurity departments, staffing numbers position descriptions and the names of key contacts; a description of any cybersecurity training and exercises undergone by employees; an explanation of any cybersecurity investment made and the rationale for such investment; a discussion of the tools and methods used to conduct risk and vulnerability assessments; and a summary of cybersecurity incidents that resulted in a loss of service, financial harm, or a breach of sensitive business or customer information.

Additional MPSC actions include:

Case No. U-18022: The MPSC approved a settlement agreement authorizing Indiana Michigan Power Company to reconcile its 2015 energy optimization revenues and expenses. Residential customers using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month will see an increase of 32 cents on their monthly bills, effective January 2017.

Case No. U-18023: The MPSC approved a settlement agreement authorizing DTE Electric Company to reconcile its 2015 energy optimization revenues and expenses.  Residential customers using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month will see an increase of 23 cents on their monthly bills, effective January 2017.

Case No. U-18083: The MPSC approved a settlement agreement authorizing Indiana Michigan Power Company to reconcile its 2015 renewable energy costs. Effective with the December 2016 billing month, the renewable energy monthly surcharge will increase from the current 86 cents per month to $3 per month.

Case No. U-18136: The MPSC approved a settlement agreement authorizing Consumers Energy Company to refund $9,577,000 to customers. Residential customers using 100 ccf of natural gas a month will see a decrease of $4.20, effective for the March 2017 billing month.

Case No. U-18167: The MPSC found that Thumb Electric Cooperative of Michigan has met the legal requirements to become member-regulated, effective Nov. 26, making it the ninth and final electric cooperative to become member-regulated in Michigan since the Electric Cooperative Member-Regulation Act (Public Act 167 of 2008) became effective.

 

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