DiNapoli gets DTE Energy to commit to clean energy, efficiency

New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, agreed to withdraw its shareholder proposal at DTE Energy Co. after winning a tentative commitment from the company to report on its programs for diversifying to clean energy sources and improving energy efficiency, including the cost and benefits of such activities, according to Eric Sumberg, spokesman for the $152.9 billion fund.

In a letter Tuesday to Patrick Doherty, director of corporate governance for the fund, Timothy E. Kraepel, DTE assistant corporate secretary, itemized the commitments, noting they are subject to the approval of the corporate governance committee of the company's board of directors.

Len Singer, DTE spokesman, said in an e-mail he couldn't confirm the agreement by publication time.

Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the fund, submitted similar proposals on behalf of the retirement fund at Ameren Corp., Cleco Corp., FirstEnergy Corp. and SCANA Corp.

The proposals also seek to mitigate climate-related risks and to better manage water use.

“As long-term shareholders, we are invested in the sustainability of our portfolio companies,” Mr. DiNapoli said in a statement about the proposals. “Given the current regulatory climate, an excessive reliance on coal can create serious risk to shareholder value. Companies should take proactive steps to increase energy efficiency and promote renewable energy sources.”

The fund owned 652,561 DTE shares, valued at $42.8 million; 1.1 million Ameren shares, valued at $37.5 million; 1.2 million FirstEnergy shares, valued at $51.7 million; and 401,600 SCANA shares, valued at $19.7 million. The data are as of Feb. 22.