What’s Up in Lansing: Energy Efficiency
In our first post in this series, we explored how the various energy proposals in Lansing tackle the issue of electric deregulation. This week, we look at how those proposals address another important priority: energy efficiency.
Governor Snyder’s Plan
Governor Snyder’s energy plan dedicates significant resources to increasing energy efficiency in the state for residential, institutional, and business consumers.
- In laying out his plan, the Governor said, “The most affordable energy you can ever get is the energy you never use.” According to Governor Snyder, energy waste reduction could account for 15% of the energy our state would otherwise use.
- Under the Governor’s plan, new technologies like smart phone apps and smart meters that help consumers better track and manage their energy usage would play a key role in achieving the kinds of energy efficiencies needed to secure Michigan’s energy future.
- The Governor’s plan would also include incentives for consumers to buy energy-saving items “such as more insulation or high-efficiency furnaces over time with affordable payments as part of their energy bills.”
- In terms of target goals over the next decade, the Governor’s plan does not distinguish efficiency from renewables and natural gas. The Snyder plan would establish a target goal of 30% to 40% of state energy needs being met by 2025 through a combination of renewable energy resources, natural gas, and greater energy efficiency efforts.
Committee Chair Plans—Nesbitt and Nofs
The chairs of both of the state legislature’s energy committees—the House Energy Policy Committee and the Senate Energy and Technology Committee—also address energy efficiency in their respective plans.
- Both Representative Aric Nesbitt (Lawton) and Senator Mike Nofs (Battle Creek) favor long-term planning over the state’s current energy efficiency standards.
- Under the Nesbitt plan, Michigan-based energy companies would be required to submit Integrated Resource Plans (IRP), which are long-term planning documents for the state’s electricity market. IRPs would be required every five years and would include current energy efficiency programs , replacing the need for specific government mandates.
The Nofs plan will be formally introduced next month, the approach will likely be similar. This plan will focus more on a comprehensive clean energy standard that works in concert with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and the IRP process. Stay tuned for more updates once this legislation is introduced.
- Just yesterday the House and Senate minorities parties announced their package of bills on energy efficiency.
- This plan doubles the current energy efficiency mandate by the year 2019, with interim targets for years 2016-2018.
Energy efficiency will undoubtedly play a significant role as Lansing continues to debate the best path forward for Michigan’s energy future. Through new approaches to the state’s energy efficiency goals, we can not only help plan for tomorrow’s energy needs, but we can also help Michigan families and businesses save money today.
Stay tuned next week as we continue to explore these competing energy proposals out of Lansing and what they could mean for all Michiganders.
Have a question about current energy legislation in Michigan? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!