MCEF urges MPSC to take action to protect ratepayers during public hearing on Integrated Resource Plan requirements in Grand Rapids

LANSING — Joanna Lewis, program administrator of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum (MCEF), delivered public commentary yesterday in Grand Rapids at the second hearing in a series of three held by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on Integrated Resource Plan requirements.

The MPSC is developing guidelines for utility Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) as required under the state’s new energy laws. Utilities will use the parameters determined by the MPSC to develop IRPs that address demand response, energy waste reduction, environmental requirements, supply sufficiency, and other considerations.

“Utilities do a good job engaging their larger commercial and industrial users when developing Integrated Resource Plans,” said Lewis. “Our concern is that the residential and small business stakeholder communities are not being adequately included early on in the utilities’ process. The job of the MPSC is to make sure that this happens – and we appreciate you holding these public hearings for that reason.

“We also want to highlight the important work of independent power producers (IPPs) and the significant jobs they create in Michigan’s biomass, hydro, solar, wind and waste-to-energy sectors. It is important now more than ever that the MPSC ensure a fair and competitive market for Michigan IPPs. Opening market access for IPPs could certainly be a near-term solution to the current debate on local clearing requirements. Ultimately, free markets and competition will drive innovation which will help lower everyone’s energy bill.”

Lewis concludes: “According to the Clean Jobs Midwest report released last week, the Michigan clean energy and energy efficiency sectors employ 92,271 Michiganders. Our state’s transition to clean energy and energy efficiency will make us more competitive in both the national and global energy economies, helping to lower rates and draw significant investment to Michigan. While this transition is inevitable, we must work to make it as seamless as possible, ensuring reliable, abundant, and affordable energy in the meantime.”

MCEF will deliver public commentary at the final MPSC hearing in Marquette on Sep. 19. For more information about the hearings and how to participate, contact MCEF at info@micef.org.

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About MCEF: The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum is an organization comprised of conservatives who believe that Michigan should adopt a true “All of the Above” energy policy that includes an increase in our commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency.  MCEF believes encouraging diverse and clean energy production and reduced energy waste will create jobs and stimulate Michigan’s economy, reduce our reliance on foreign energy, improve our national security, and protect our valuable natural resources. http://www.micef.org/

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