December 2016 Newsletter
Comprehensive Energy Policy Passed
On Thursday (12/15/2016) night, legislators in Lansing finally passed a comprehensive energy package after more than a year of discussion about Michigan’s energy future. The vote was bipartisan and came in the waning hours of the lame-duck session.
We will learn more in the coming days and weeks about what this legislation will ultimately mean for companies working in Michigan’s energy efficiency industry. For now, here is a brief summary of provisions more relevant to our membership:
- Keeps intact the energy optimization (renamed as energy waste reduction) requirement that utilities save a minimum amount of energy each year with efficiency programs.
- Removes the spending cap on utility EE programs while providing a reconciliation process for recovery of reasonable and prudent spending above budgeted amounts for EE programs, which should help end the mid-year program suspensions.
- Raises incentives for utilities that hit higher EE targets.
- Allows the Commission to approve revenue decoupling for electric utilities with less than 200,000 customers in Michigan to recover sales losses due to energy waste reduction programs.
- Authorizes regulated utilities to provide on-bill financing of residential energy improvements.
- Requires each regulated utility to submit an Integrated Resource Plan to the Commission by the end of 2018 and every five years thereafter. These plans should include the potential for energy waste reduction.
- Creates a nonbinding goal of meeting 35 percent of Michigan's power needs by 2025 through a combination of renewable energy and energy conservation.
Other notable provisions from the two-bill energy package:
- Increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard from 10 percent to 15 percent by 2021.
- Specifies that electric choice customers returning to their home utility must remain for at least six years.
- Details how state regulators can set capacity charges that apply to customers of alternative suppliers.
- Preserves existing net metering in the service territory of each utility until the first general rate case is filed after June 1, 2018.
The passage of this policy comes just days after MEECA announced its support for the bills. You can read the full Press Release here.
Thanks to all MEECA members who have educated lawmakers and staff during this legislative session about the importance of EE in Michigan! A special thank you to David Gard for creating this summary for our members.
MEECA Annual Gala Early Bird Special
Get your tickets to MEECA’s Annual Gala before the Early Bird Special ends on January 7th. We are currently engaging with several options for key note speakers, with our final selection to be announced soon!
Now Hiring: Executive Director
The MEECA Board of Directors are working to hire a part-time Executive Director to lobby on behalf of our membership and help with our organizations administrative matters. Please visit our website for details about the position and instructions on how to apply.
2016 is closing on a positive note with the passing of the comprehensive energy policy in Lansing and the implementation of our strategic plan here at MEECA. We are looking forward continuing that positivity into 2017.
We hope all of our members had a positive and profitable 2016 and will enjoy a very prosperous 2017!