Services & Expertise
We serve our clients with innovative strategies and deep expertise in utility regulation and ratemaking, policy research, energy modeling and analysis, and energy project planning. The 5 Lakes Energy team also offers comprehensive management and communications services to dynamic organizations that are leading the Great Lakes states into the clean energy future.
Utility Regulation and Ratemaking
Policy Research, Analysis and Strategy
Energy Project Planning
Energy Modeling, Quantitative and Technical Analysis
Management And Communication Services
Utility Regulation & Ratemaking
5 Lakes Energy represents our clients by providing expert witness testimony in a wide range of regulatory cases, including utility rate cases, integrated resource plans, energy waste reduction plans and power supply and gas cost recovery cases. Our team offers expertise in clean energy and energy equity topics including utility-scale and distributed renewables, energy storage, energy efficiency, demand response, low-income rates and programs, performance-based ratemaking, revenue requirements, production and distribution cost allocation, reliability, corporate finance, return on equity, and more.
Our expert testimony in electric rate cases filed by large investor-owned utilities like DTE and Consumers Energy, in cooperation with partners like the Michigan Attorney General, have led to better outcomes for ratepayers by showing how the utilities can spend ratepayer funds more efficiently.
In rate cases filed by natural gas utilities, 5 Lakes Energy has provided engineering analyses that supported the Michigan Attorney General’s successful position that the utility’s proposed gas infrastructure expenditures were not in the best interests of ratepayers.
We provided expert witness testimony on behalf of intervening groups in the matter of the regulatory approval of Xcel Energy’s plan to install 20,000 electric vehicle charging stations across Colorado, the first widespread transportation electrification plan in that state.
Policy Research, Analysis & Strategy
5 Lakes Energy’s policy team helps our clients design state and local energy and climate policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support vulnerable communities and ratepayers and advance economic progress and equity.
We completed an analysis of the MI Healthy Climate Plan for RMI, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Michigan Environmental Council that identified the best set of policies for Michigan to cut emissions across its economy.
We work with the Citizens Utility Board of Michigan on its annual Utility Performance Report, which assesses the performance of utilities on key metrics related to reliability of service, affordability and environmental impacts.
Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 5 Lakes Energy consulted the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council on the feasibility of a sustainability program for Michigan’s grape growing and wine industry.
Energy Project Planning
5 Lakes Energy helps our clients assess technical, regulatory, financial, legal and social factors to identify their best clean energy project options. Our team’s skills include RFP management and owner representation services during project implementation and grant writing to help local communities access federal dollars.
We work with the Michigan Schools Energy cooperative to consult K-12 school districts on how to adopt solar energy by managing the process to procure solar panels, including vendor selection.
We were contracted to update the financial analysis on the Icebreaker offshore wind project. This project, if built, will be the first offshore wind project in the Great Lakes.
We were contracted by a large industrial manufacturing company to assess the benefits and viability of onsite solar and battery storage to reduce the corporation’s carbon footprint.
Energy Modeling, Quantitative & Technical Analysis
5 Lakes Energy applies its custom analytical software and other quantitative methods to help clients identify their quickest and most cost-effective pathways to decarbonize, electrify and achieve just energy transitions. Our work includes quantitative models supporting state roadmaps for energy storage and combined heat and power; climate plans for state and local governments and municipal utilities; and technical analysis of utility distribution plans.
5 Lakes Energy conducted a comprehensive analysis of the pathways to 100% economy-wide renewable energy for the City of Ann Arbor. That study included evaluating the costs and benefits of creating a local Sustainable Energy Utility and various other strategies for achieving the community’s ambitious climate goals.
We led a team of contractors in developing a comprehensive climate action plan for Traverse City Light and Power. We modeled the grid in MISO zone 7 and optimized energy and capacity resource additions for that municipal utility; analyzed building energy use across the city; and offered recommendations on future programs for all customer classes.
We worked with state and regional partners to complete the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Roadmap for Michigan. Our work focused on developing the economic models that showed the least-cost deployment path for new CHP resources.
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy hired us to complete the Energy Storage Roadmap, which identified the best path for Michigan to enable the growth of energy storage technology.
We analyze the utility rates that best promote the use of electric heat pumps in an ongoing project for a number of national environmental organizations.
Management & Communication Services
5 Lakes Energy experts have experience managing trade groups and associations.In addition to facilitating stakeholder engagement, government relations, and other core strategies, we provide clients strategic communications support, including social media, thought leadership and placement in major online, mass media and trade publications.
For the Michigan Municipal Association for Utility Issues (MI-MAUI), an organization of local governments seeking to reduce their utility costs, we provide executive director services and represent member interests in regulatory cases.
For the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA), we provide executive director services and lead the association’s membership development, events and networking, communications, and training programs.
For the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Michigan, we assist their work advocating for residential ratepayer interests before the Michigan Public Service Commission and other regulatory bodies.
Get in touch
5 Lakes Energy is looking for partners and clients who want to make a difference on climate and energy issues in their states or communities. Please drop us a line and let’s get to work.