In a rare show of bi-partisan cooperation, the Michigan House Energy Policy Committee voted 25-0 for an amendment that removes the spending cap on utility-based energy waste reduction programs and paves the way forward for expansion of Michigan’s energy efficiency industry.
Introduced by Rep. Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe), this amendment reverses earlier versions of energy bills introduced that proposed to end Michigan’s Energy Optimization programs.
MEECA’s out-going president Brad Bartholomew said, “I am very pleased that Chairman Nesbitt and Representative LaVoy were able to work out a package that will grow the energy efficiency industry, supporting thousands of clean energy jobs and that helps so many Michigan citizens and businesses reduce energy waste.” The work done by the committee shows strong support for energy efficiency and sets an all of the above energy policy for Michigan.
Brindley Byrd was on the ground working with the legislators on these provisions. “This vote shows the committee process works when debating these comprehensive energy bills,” Byrd said when asked about the outcome of the vote. “On behalf of the entire energy efficiency industry, we will continue to work with the legislature during this process all the way to the Governor’s desk.”
The energy waste reduction amendment is part of House Bill 4298 that passed the committee 17-8. Companion bill 4297 passed with 21-4 bi-partisan support. These bills will ensure utilities have flexibility in complying with the Clean Power Plan; that Michigan’s energy efficiency workforce will grow; homeowners and business owners can continue to receive rebates helping them save energy; and thousands of low-income homes throughout the state receive weatherization assistance.