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DTE Energy Management Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We're expecting a high today of about 55 degrees here in Detroit. Actually it's a nice, sunny day, which is consistent with what you would expect here in Michigan in April. This is a sharp contrast to the first quarter, where we experienced anything but seasonal weather. Similar to many other parts of the country, the MichCon service territory saw one of the warmest winters on record. The mild temperatures were great news for our customers in form of lower utility bills. But as you've seen in our recent press release, the warm weather had an impact on the first quarter. We did include about $8 million of that weather from January and early February when we provide the guidance.

So with that said, let me start on Page 5. We have a disciplined growth plan that will provide 5% to 6% long-terms earning growth per share. And when you combine that with our attractive dividends, it provides a 9% to 10% total shareholder return. All of this is set around one of our Northstars [ph] and that's maintaining a strong balance sheet. Both of the utilities have robust growth plans. At Detroit Edison, as we played out for you, the growth is driven primarily by mandated environmental controls and renewable energy, while at MichCon, the growth is driven by infrastructure investments, including a long-term cast iron main replacement plan and a program to move gas meters out of customer homes. The importance of these infrastructure investments is evident in the rate case that we filed last Friday at MichCon. We have a very constructive energy legislation framework in Michigan and also a regulatory structure, and we see it as our responsibility to earn that favorable construct every single day. We utilize continuous improvement, capabilities in everything we do to ensure that our utilities are controlling costs and minimizing rate increases to our customers and also ensuring great customer experiences.

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