What You Need to Know About Energy Policy in Michigan

This year, your Michigan representatives are preparing to make major decisions when it comes to determining what energy sources utilities must use to power our homes and businesses. Here’s what you need to know.

The Clean Power Plan:

In August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new safeguards to set the first-ever limits on pollution from existing power plants, called the Clean Power Plan.  The Clean Power Plan is a giant step forward in curbing climate change and is being cited as the single most important action in the U.S. to act on climate. The plan is critical to protecting Michigan’s water, agriculture, and public health from the serious impacts of carbon pollution from power plants.

The Snyder Administration has announced that the state will be developing a State Carbon Implementation Plan (SCIP) to limit carbon emissions in compliance with the EPA’s rules. Leaders will submit an initial state plan to the federal government in September of 2016, and will engage the public and various stakeholders in the process.

Renewable Portfolio Standard:

Michigan’s current renewable energy standard requires that utilities generate 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar — a target that they are on track to meet this year.

In his energy message in March, Governor Rick Snyder said he’d like to have between 30 and 40 percent of Michigan’s energy needs be met by a combination of renewable energy and reducing energy waste through energy efficiency.

State leaders have an opportunity to spark investments in clean, renewable energy like wind and solar, along with energy efficiency measures, to create good-paying jobs and save people money on their electric bills, by increasing Michigan’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards. Investing more in renewable energy will also protect public health and Michigan’s Great Lakes and environment from pollution.

Energy Efficiency:

To date, Michigan is only reducing overall electricity waste in Michigan by about 3 percent from 2008 levels, but more energy efficiency could cut waste by up to 30 percent — saving everyone money and cutting pollution by lowering the need for power generation. In fact, it costs significantly less to meet our energy needs (and reduce pollution) through energy efficiency than by any other means. In 2013, for every $1 invested to meet statewide energy efficiency goals Michigan customers saw nearly $4 in benefits. Our elected leaders can save Michiganders even more money by increasing the state’s energy efficiency standard, which will greatly reduce energy waste.

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One comment on “What You Need to Know About Energy Policy in Michigan
  1. Sharon Lund says:

    I am very interested in what I can personally do to invest in cleaner renewable energy. Solar? Wind? What is practical in Traverse City, Michigan? I want to know. Knowledge and investment today may result in savings and a cleaner future for tomorrow. So….tell me! Inform me. Educate me. I am very willing to consider CHANGE.

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