As one of the state’s largest utilities, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.8 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents, Consumers Energy is making major investments to safeguard Michigan’s energy future, investments encouraged by the state’s comprehensive 2008 energy law. As it exists today, the 2008 energy law provides the financial certainty that Michigan’s hometown energy providers, such as Consumers Energy, need to make substantial investments to serve customers and improve the environment.
Consumers Energy plans to invest about $6.6 billion in the state over the next five years to serve customers and improve the environment. That makes Consumers Energy one of the largest investors in the state, as well as one of the largest employers and taxpayers. Consumers Energy also is a major purchaser of products, goods, and services from other Michigan companies, about $2 billion a year. It has made a commitment to increase that by $250 million over the next five years as part of the Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative.
Policymakers spent nearly two years researching, discussing, and developing the 2008 energy law. The resulting legislative package attracted strong bipartisan support in the Michigan House and Senate and was approved in both chambers by overwhelming margins. It was signed into law in October 2008 and has provided a number of benefits to Michigan families and businesses. For example,
- Consumers Energy customers saved $67 million in the first two years of the energy efficiency program the utility launched to help it meet standards set in the law.
- The law’s 10 percent renewable energy standard has encouraged job-creating investments and the development of a variety of new renewable energy sources, primarily wind.
- Consumers Energy plans to invest $500 million to build two wind farms. Construction began last fall on the company’s first wind farm, the 100-megawatt Lake Winds Energy Park, and it is scheduled to begin serving customers later this year. The 150-megawatt Cross Winds Energy Park is expected to begin serving customers in 2015.
Currently, Michigan energy law sets aside 10 percent of the state’s electric market for out-of-state power marketers. This limit protects customers from price spikes and provides the certainty that Consumers Energy and other Michigan utilities need to make investments in the energy systems that serve customers. Two Michigan lawmakers recently introduced legislation that would allow the out-of-state power marketers to take up to 38 percent of the state’s electric market by 2016 and then allow that share to increase even more in the following years. This would undermine Michigan’s successful energy policy, create an unstable regulatory and investment climate for the state’s hometown energy providers, and place electric customers at risk for sharply higher bills. Consumers Energy opposes legislation to amend Michigan’s 2008 energy law
Coalition for Michigan Jobs and Energy
The Michigan Jobs and Energy Coalition (MJEC), played a key role in the development and passage of the 2008 comprehensive energy. That group is composed of major business organizations and industrial customers, labor organizations, economic development interests, renewable energy and energy efficiency advocates, and Michigan’s major utilities. The MJEC continues to stand strong behind the 2008 energy law because it protects customers from volatile price spikes, supports the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, and encourages substantial investments in the state’s energy infrastructure.
Join the MJEC’s Efforts to Keep the Law Intact
The MJEC needs your support to help make sure that Michigan’s families and businesses have an adequate supply of reliable and affordable electricity for years to come. Frequently Asked Questions It’s easy and free to join the MJEC. Simply go to www.michiganjobsandenergy.com and click the “Sign Up” icon on the top right side of the home page.