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Why Fairness Matters for Low-income Michiganders

Fairness is one of the three fundamental principles we believe must guide legislators as they work to pass comprehensive energy legislation.

Why fairness?

We’ve previously discussed fair energy policy and what it means for some of the broader issues facing Michigan both now and in the coming years.

Ultimately, fairness means a lot of things to a lot of people. For AMP, it means ensuring that our state’s energy policies don’t disadvantage some consumers while benefitting others.  That’s important for all consumers—but for low-income Michigan families, the significance of fair energy policies take on an especially critical meaning.

For low-income households, fairness can mean the difference between being able to keep the lights and heat on and not being able to, in part by ensuring their electric bills aren’t unduly subsidizing the electric bills of other Michiganders. It can mean not being forced to choose between paying for basic necessities like food, rent, and medicine or paying their electric bill.

We’re having an unusually warm winter by Michigan standards, but it’s still cold enough that millions of Michiganders are facing uncomfortable—potentially life-threatening—situations.  Over the next several weeks, AMP will be talking a lot about energy assistance and how we can make it work better and stretch further.  Fair energy policies are one of the key pieces of that puzzle, which is why we’ll also be talking about the need for the legislature to move forward with, and finish, comprehensive new energy policy that guarantees fairness for all Michiganders.

Fairness for All

Michigan lawmakers are continuing to hammer out the details of energy legislation first introduced last year.  As they work to fine-tune their proposals, they should keep fairness for all Michiganders—including, and perhaps most importantly, our most vulnerable citizens—top of mind.

Low-income Michigan families deserve policies that treat them (and everyone) fairly—from how we integrate renewables like solar power to how we address our capacity challenges to how we provide assistance for those in need. We’ll be watching to see how legislators in Lansing address the issue of fairness—it’s a delicate balancing act, and we need to get it right.

What’s your take?  Tell us what you think fairness in our state’s energy policy means for low-income Michiganders. Speak out today!