Today Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-District 65) introduced new legislation in Michigan that would amend a portion of the 2008 Energy Bill (PA 286) and address the significant demand for customer choice and electric competition for more than 7,000 Michigan businesses waiting for the opportunity. The legislation proposes a measured, phased approach to expanding electric competition in Michigan and provides welcome relief to consumers who pay dramatically higher energy bills.
If enacted, the proposed legislation will gradually restore much needed competition to the state’s energy marketplace, give consumers equal opportunity to pay less for their energy, and put an end to the distinction Michigan has as the state with the highest electric rates in the Midwest. Specifically, Rep. Shirkey’s legislation would meet the immediate demand for customer choice by eliminating the 10 percent cap on shopping, providing relief to thousands of customers who are on a waiting list to join Michigan’s competitive marketplace.
If the legislation is not enacted, businesses in Michigan will continue to suffer with high electricity costs while neighboring Midwest States like Illinois and Ohio have seen drastic declines since the advent of competition. Last week, The Detroit News published an editorial by an energy management employee of a manufacturing company with five plants in Michigan stating that the state’s electricity costs “heavily factor in businesses decisions about whether to stay, move, expand or relocate from one state to another. Michigan’s uncompetitive utility rates are not attractive to new job providers and are a deterrent to businesses already here.” Over the past few months, other businesses have expressed similar concerns on YouTube as well.
Businesses interested in having Michigan’s energy cap eliminated or changed can become a part of Energy Choice Now for Michigan, a coalition of businesses, suppliers and trade associations, at http://www.ecnmichigan.com/. Consumers also may follow this issue on Facebook or Twitter: Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Electric-Competition-for-Michigan-Now/132647970106636?v=app_4949752878 and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/competition4mi. We are also closely following this issue and will continue to post about updates here as well as on the Constellation Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/#!/constellationeg.