New bipartisan energy laws are a win for Michiganders

LANSING – Members of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum today applauded the implementation of Public Acts 341 and 342, the comprehensive energy package passed with strong bipartisan support in the state legislature in December. The legislation continues Michigan’s transition to homegrown, clean renewable energy and will help to create jobs, lower electric rates, and diversify our electric portfolio.

“These laws diversify our energy portfolio and call for further investment in clean energy sources that are immune to fuel price volatility, which will help to rein in electricity costs for ratepayers in the coming years, while also strengthening our grid security and national security,” said Larry Ward, MCEF executive director. “We are grateful to the legislature, Governor Snyder, and the Michigan Agency for Energy for their work over the last couple years in crafting this bipartisan energy package that is truly a win for Michigan families and businesses. We are especially thankful for the leadership shown by Senator Mike Nofs throughout the process, and would also like to recognize Senator Dale Zorn for his support of the 15% renewable portfolio standard.”

Public Acts 341 and 342 call for an increase in the state’s renewable portfolio standard from 10% to 15% by 2021, establish a combined goal of 35% renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2025, and remove caps on energy efficiency spending by utilities, among other measures.                                                                                 

“Removing the two percent spending cap on energy efficiency incentives is an endorsement of the effect of energy efficiency on energy policy,” said Vytau Virskus, principal and founder of Millenium Energy Company and MCEF Leadership Council Member. “By increasing incentives to promote more focus on energy efficiency, we can not only reduce the demand on our electrical grid in the near term, but also mitigate the increase of electricity costs to Michigan ratepayers to ensure more affordable electricity into the future.  Energy efficiency is a key element of a comprehensive energy policy.”

The energy package also effectively maintains the status quo of the current solar net-metering program, now called distributed generation, until 2020.

“These energy laws move the needle forward on solar policy but more work needs to be done,” said Ed Rivet, one of Michigan’s top conservative political activists and MCEF Leadership Council Member. “MCEF looks forward to participating in the Michigan Public Service Commission solar work group to ensure the continued success of a significant job-producing industry that is good for our state economy and our environment.”    

Ward concludes: “These laws will help make our state more competitive, attracting significant investment and jobs. We applaud lawmakers for sending clear market signals that Michigan is a state where innovators and entrepreneurs can thrive.”


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 local 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.