- Republican state senators have introduced two bills making up the Michigan Clean Energy Plan, one of which would strike renewables and efficiency mandates in favor of allowing the market to choose lowest-cost resources.
- A second bill would maintain Michigan's 10% energy choice rule, but would require alternative suppliers to demonstrate sufficient capacity to cover their obligations and would restrict new customers in the market.
- On the House side, according to the Detroit Free Press, a measure to strike the choice law entirely is being considered. No proposals in this legislative would expand Michigan's retail energy choice beyond its current 10% cap.
Leadership from Michigan's Senate Energy and Technology Committee has introduced a pair of bills aimed at revamping the state's integrated resource planning process and cutting renewables and efficiency mandates.
“I don’t think the Legislature should be involved in picking winners and losers,” Sen. John Proos (R), vice chair of the committee, said in a statement. “Instead we should establish the goal of having cleaner sources of electric generation that reduce emissions, and then let the process determine which options best meet our needs.”
Proos is sponsoring SB 438, which calls for striking current renewable and energy efficiency mandates in the state, as well as upgrading provisions for distributed generation, net metering, and on-bill financing. In his statement, Proos stressed “the focus on removing mandates and allowing the IRP process to determine what investments make the most sense.”
An overhaul of the IRP process is the main thrust of SB 437, introduced by Sen. Mike Nofs (R), chair of the Senate Energy and Technology Committee.
“This legislation represents hundreds of hours’ worth of research, discussion and input from numerous individuals, groups and organizations, including the governor, committee members, and the 37-member workgroup I appointed last year,” said Nofs. “These bills represent a starting point for a thorough committee process that will ultimately help us craft the best policy to respond to a rapidly changing landscape for energy.”
Overhauling the IRP process would give Michigan regulators “more authority to help guide the planning process and help ensure that we are getting the best value possible for Michigan ratepayers when it comes to large energy investments,” Nofs said.
The measure would also maintain the state's energy choice cap at 10%, Detroit Free Press reports, though it would place stricter requirements on alternative suppliers, including requiring them to demonstrate firm capacity for the life of contracts and limiting the amount of capacity which can be purchased on wholesale markets.
While some have favored moving towards more deregulation, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has indicated he supports keeping the cap in place, but altering energy market requirements to ensure alternative suppliers must be able to guarantee their power supply.