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Economic Development Policy – Growing Michigan’s economy is critical to our state. Michigan’s economy should be diverse and innovative to create new jobs, attract new businesses and compete in a global economy.
An essential part of growing the state’s economy is maintaining and investing in the state’s energy infrastructure that will not only create new Michigan jobs and spur economic growth but will help to protect the environment.
Energy Policy: The 2016 state energy law created an energy market that has brought certainty for Michigan’s future energy needs. By passing the law, legislators helped to shape Michigan’s energy market, leading the way to ensure reliable power to meet the state’s energy needs for years to come. The law established key principles to provide reliable, affordable, safer and cleaner energy to Michigan residents and businesses. The key principles are:
Reliable: In Michigan, reliability is critical to keeping our lights on. Michigan needs to invest in the right resources in order to meet Michigan’s peak electricity needs on the hottest days of the year. Michigan utilities are investing heavily into the system to prevent outages and hardening the system, while keeping affordability top of mind. Michigan is modernizing the power grid to lead the clean energy transformation. That means employing the latest smart technology to reduce energy waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, give customers more control of their bills and pave the way for more solar power and electric vehicles.
Affordable: The affordability provisions in the energy law have helped utilities continue ensuring customers’ bills are affordable for all customers. The law promotes affordability through the following:
1. It continues and expands the energy efficiency programs that have already saved Michigan customers more than $1 billion since 2009. These programs give customers more control over their energy bills along with simple ways to reduce their bills.
2. The law puts into place strict new state oversight to ensure all new generation is competitively bid and provides the best value for Michigan.
3. The law requires that owners of private solar installations pay an equitable contribution for their use of Michigan’s electric grid. This reduced a prior subsidy structure called net metering that was given to owners of private solar by funding it on the backs of all utility customers.
4. Finally, the law addresses a simple principle – customers should only pay for what they use. The new reforms will help better ensure fairness in Michigan’s partial deregulation system by helping to ensure everyone pays their fair share of capacity.
Clean: By reducing energy waste and increasing the amount of renewables in Michigan, we will maintain a clean, healthy environment and protect the natural resources we all cherish. Michigan’s energy law created incentives to further shift to cleaner energy resources. This balanced goal ensures Michigan will have reliable 24/7 power generation available, while moving the state to cleaner energy.
Statement A: Allowing out of state competition and choice for electricity drives down prices for everyone and lets the free market work. We should allow companies other than Michigan’s utilities that have a monopoly to supply electricity because it means Michigan electricity rates will go lower allowing businesses to create more jobs.
Statement B: Michigan utilities are responsible for maintaining and modernizing the state’s energy grid. If we allow customers to shop around for lower electricity rates, fewer customers will pay their share to ensure Michigan has a reliable, safe energy grid that meets the state’s energy needs. Everyone in Michigan has a responsibility to pay their fair share guaranteeing Michigan has a reliable energy grid.