FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michigan Lawmakers Respond to Corporate Calls for More Clean Energy
Michigan lawmakers raise state clean energy standards
On behalf of large investors and businesses with facilities in Michigan, Ceres commends the Michigan Legislature for increasing the state’s renewable portfolio standard to 15 percent by 2021 and making efficiency a central part of Michigan’s energy plan.
“By strengthening these vital clean energy policies, the state has provided additional policy certainty for companies and investors interested in investing in Michigan,” said Alli Gold Roberts with Ceres an advocacy organization working to build a more sustainable global economy. “The state will be better prepared to compete in today's global economy and capture savings for ratepayers and businesses.”
Michigan’s energy efficiency standard will now remain in place until at least 2021, which means utility customers have more time to get rebates and technical assistance to save electricity. And the bills remove artificial caps on efficiency investments, which means utility companies can now do more to help customers save money on their electricity bills.
In November, a coalition of 10 businesses called on Michigan lawmakers to increase the renewable portfolio standard by at least 5 percent. These businesses include: Ben & Jerry’s, Brewery Vivant, Crystal Mountain, Eileen Fisher, General Mills, JLL, Nestlé, Rockford Brewing Company, Staples and Worthen Industries. Read their statement here. Many large Michigan companies also advocated for energy efficiency testifying before lawmakers in the House and Senate. These businesses included: Whirlpool Corporation, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, and others. Read their testimony here.
The businesses also called on lawmakers to retain language from the existing renewable energy standard, including requirements that ensure renewable energy is generated in Michigan and that independent power producers generate a portion of clean energy in the state. The provision for a “50/50 split” between utilities and independent producers under the 2008 RPS did not make it into the final energy package. This would have promoted more competition and reduced the costs for new renewable energy generation.
Michigan’s previous renewable energy standard of 10 percent renewable energy by 2015 resulted in $3 billion in renewable energy investment in the state, saving customers nearly $1 billion in future energy costs. Michigan’s Public Service Commission recently reported that ratepayers will save $1.08 billion because of energy efficiency investments made in 2015 alone.
These new changes will further these savings for consumers and continue to spur economic growth throughout the state.