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House Energy Committee should quickly pass HB 4715 and HB 4716, climate driven severe weather, power outages stress the urgency for action 

LANSING – The Michigan House Energy Committee should vote immediately to support legislation that would expand community solar options for Michigan customers, allowing residents to choose independent community solar projects and get credits on their electricity bills for the clean energy their collective generates.  

This summer’s failures by DTE and Consumers Energy amid widespread outages caused by extreme weather events underscores the urgency for HB 4715-4716.  The bill package removes unnecessary barriers to the development of small-scale, locally-owned solar projects and will create Michigan jobs while providing cleaner, more reliable energy to residents.

“Michigan families and businesses are burdened by some of the highest electricity costs in the Midwest and terrible reliability; they need options for our energy, like locally-owned, neighborhood-based community solar,” said Nick Occhipinti, government affairs director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Michigan can do much better; we have enormous potential to generate electricity from independent solar in communities across the state, which is why we are urging lawmakers to pass these common-sense bills.”

According to a recent economic study and report by Michigan State University, conservatively, community solar would create 18,500 well-paying jobs and contribute $1.4 billion to the economy over the next 30 years, all while reducing pollution in our air and water.

The Citizens Utility Board of Michigan, an independent consumer advocate group, has repeatedly cited Michigan for having the highest electric rates in the Midwest and the worst service when it comes to restoring power.