On almost a straight party line vote, the Michigan Senate Energy & Technology Committee voted Senate Bills 437 (S-‐3)and 438 (S-‐3) out of committee.
SB437 passed 6 yays, 1 nay and 3 passes.
All Republican committee members, except Senator Mike Shirkey voted in support of this bill.
The Democrat committee members passed.
This bill preserves the 10-‐percent retail open access cap and institutes a new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) process for electric energy providers.
SB438 passed 7 yays, 0 nays and 3 passes with all Republicans voting in favor of the bill.
This bill makes adjustments to what are now known as Energy Optimization programs, maintains the renewable energy mandate and preserves current net metering provisions of PA 295.
Senators Mike Nofs and John Proos (chair and majority vice-‐chair of the committee) are to be commended for shepherding these bills to a vote over the past two years.
Minority Vice Chair Hoon-‐Yung Hopgood is also to be commended for offering a series of amendments that would have increased Clean Energy savings goals, bolster the Energy Waste Reduction programs and other changes position Michigan for out inevitable low-‐carbon utility future.
Walt Dindoffier, MEECA’s president would like to thank the Senators and Committee members for their work these past couple years working through these bills.
“I see a way forward for Michigan’s energy efficiency industry, but would have preferred more in the way of long-‐term predictability.
As contractors always do, we’ll find ways to make this legislation work if it actually gets signed ilaw.”
MEECA has long advocated that the utility-‐based rebate programs, now to be called ‘Energy Waste Reduction’ programs are a cornerstone in Michigan’s integrated energy efficiency industry.
A provision in SB438 (S-‐3) to sunset the electric Energy Waste Reduction programs, which will then be required to be included in future IRP electric utility providers need to submit starting in 2021.
MEECA advocates that Michigan have the most robust, reliable, qualified and predictable energy efficiency industry in the nation.
Unfortunately, sun setting the electric utility-‐rebate programs as created in PA 295 will be unsettling to the energy efficiency market in five years,” a regret expressed by Brindley Byrd,
MEECA’s executive director and lead lobbyist for the association.
All in all Michigan’s energy efficiency contractors will be better positioned in a slightly different energy efficiency industry should the one objectionable aspect of SB438 relating to sun
setting the electric EWR programs prevail.
MEECA is looking forward to several years of continued excellent Energy Waste Reduction programs offered by the state’s utility companies.
SB438 (S-‐3) eliminates an artificial spending cap imposed on utility companies on EWR programs.
The bill also provides a tiered incentive mechanism paid to utility companies for achieving energy waste reduction.
This incentive, on top of decoupling (a tactic of making up lost profit due to lost revenue that results in energy efficiency program deployment) and cost-‐recovery for utility expenses, Michigan’s integrated energy efficiency industry can rely on the stability of solid Energy Waste Reduction programs for the foreseeable future.
We appreciate the utilities dedication to eliminating energy waste as demonstrated these