Environment Picture
Topic: Energy Efficiency

Pact puts Michigan on the path to clean energy jobs and economic growth

Energy efficiency, renewable power standards earn bipartisan OK

A new era of Michigan clean energy jobs was initiated in September with bipartisan passage of legislation establishing energy efficiency programs and the state’s first renewable energy standard.

The legislation made Michigan the 28th state to enact renewable energy standards, allowing it to compete with neighboring states for jobs in the burgeoning clean energy field.

It also spurs the development of low-carbon energy ventures in Michigan which will reduce the state’s contribution to global warming emissions, lessen pollution that impairs public health, and reduce our reliance on expensive imported coal.

The Michigan Environmental Council and allies statewide pressed for strong efficiency and renewable standards for years, finally accepting a compromise package that moves Michigan forward.

The bipartisan package includes:
  • A requirement of 10 percent renewable energy generation by 2015. This puts Michigan in competition with 27 other states that have such policies – states that have an advantage in attracting new energy entrepreneurs and jobs.
  • Energy efficiency programming requiring 1 percent annual reduction in electricity demand starting in the year 2012, and every year thereafter. A kilowatt of energy costs 3 or 4 cents to conserve, compared to 10 cents or more to generate from a new power plant.
  • A planning process that factors public health and environmental impacts into proposals for new power plants and forces them to compete equally with alternatives including energy efficiency programming and clean energy sources. When expensive polluting new coal plants are forced to compete with energy efficiency and other options, they will likely lose, to the benefit of Michigan ratepayers.
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