2015 Legislation—What is the Best Efficiency Strategy for Michigan?

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A recent piece in the Detroit Free Press asks a very good question: “What’s next for Michigan’s energy transformation?” One thing that is sure to be part of “what’s next” is energy efficiency.

That’s why Governor Rick Snyder has made energy efficiency one of the main focuses of his 10-year, comprehensive energy plan for Michigan. As Michigan works toward a cleaner energy future, energy efficiency will play an important role.

How Do We Get There?

The Governor makes a good point about the link between energy efficiency and affordability. However, he also says, “Michigan must set a reasonable, achievable, and efficient goal for 2025: a minimum of 30 percent clean energy.”  To be sure, clean energy and greater efficiency often go hand-in-hand, and both are worthwhile goals.

Michigan needs to pursue the most cost-effective course for energy efficiency and clean energy given all the priorities our state must balance—our economy, our environment, and the long-term reliability and affordability of our energy for all Michiganders.  

AMP believes comprehensive, long-term, collaborative planning is key to achieving continued success in energy efficiency. Both Representative Nesbitt and Senator Nofs—the chairs of the two major energy committees in the state legislature—prefer the use of Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) to help map the course for Michigan’s energy future. This cooperative, proactive approach would give Michigan the flexibility we need to utilize energy efficiency as part of a broader strategy to secure clean energy for the state.

Starting Off on the Right Foot

Under the approach described above, Michigan would be on the right track to improve energy efficiency in a responsible, well-thought-out way. Maintaining flexibility will enable Michigan to achieve efficiency through multiple tactics, focusing on what works best for specific consumers, communities, and industries:

With a number of energy plans currently in the offing in Lansing, it can be a challenge to determine what is the best approach on issues like energy efficiency. AMP believes there is merit in many of these plans.

Our hope is that Governor Snyder and the legislature can come together to craft comprehensive energy legislation that focuses on coordinated, long-term planning to meet the needs of all Michiganders, ensuring we maintain affordability and reliability as Michigan moves toward a brighter energy future.

What do you think about energy efficiency in Michigan? Let us know!