- A Michigan senator is proposing the state gradually shift away from a 10% cap on electric competition, moving over time towards a fully deregulated market, the Lansing State Journal reports.
- Under a bill proposed by Sen. Mike Shirkey (R), more than 10,000 business customers currently on a waiting list would immediately be able to take service from providers other than then DTE and Consumers Energy.
- Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has proposed keeping the cap in place, but altering energy market requirements to ensure alternative suppliers must be able to guarantee their power supply.
Michigan continues to struggle with its retail electricity scheme that set a 10% cap on the state's competitive electricity market, and which utilities say has left them unsure of how to plan for large customers who can come and go as they please. While some consumers want to shift to full deregulation and utilities may favor returning to a completely regulated market, Sen. Shirkey's proposal would move the needle gradually towards competition.
Under Shirkey's bill, the level of choice would immediately rise to 20% of utility sales, and then would rise another 18% over a three-year period, after which more could be contemplated.
“We want not just affordable energy costs, we want competitive energy costs,” he told the Lansing State Journal.
Earlier this month Gov. Snyder unveiled a broad strategy calling for significantly more renewables and energy conservation programs in a state traditionally fueled by coal. He addressed the 10% cap, saying “our current system does not work particularly well.”
"I'm not suggesting eliminate the program," Snyder said, but the utility provider "needs to guarantee capacity.” He is proposing that retail providers be required to guarantee they have sufficient generation to meet customer loads on a rolling five-year basis, ensuring a more stable market.