Thousands of Michiganders urge state regulators to keep solar energy affordable
MIchigan LCV spearheads “Save MI Solar” initiative, urging Michigan Public Service Commission to reject DTE Energy’s rate increase
LANSING – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) today announced more than 2,200 Michigan residents have submitted public comments to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) urging commissioners to reject a proposal by DTE Energy that would make rooftop solar unaffordable and raise rates for customers who want to generate their own clean energy.
“When we learned DTE Energy was trying to raise fees and costs on solar users just for generating their own energy, we couldn’t stand by,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of Michigan LCV. “The engagement we’ve seen from Michiganders on this issue is astounding and we hope the Michigan Public Service Commission listens to the thousands of residents who have submitted public comments urging them to stand up for affordable solar energy.”
DTE Energy’s proposal would mandate a fee of $12 to $16 per month on rooftop solar customers generating their own energy. It would also reduce the payout for excess energy generated from rooftop solar from the current 13 cents per kilowatt hour to a mere 4 cents per kilowatt hour, resulting in a nearly 70 percent decrease in compensation for customers generating their own energy. A decision on the proposal is expected Thursday, May 2.
“Big, monopoly utility companies, like DTE Energy, recognize the enormous potential for solar energy, which is why they want to control the solar market in Michigan,” said Bob Sutherland, owner of the Cherry Republic national brand, which buys renewable energy credits for its stores in northern Michigan and is in the process of installing solar panels. “This key decision at the Michigan Public Service Commission will have a significant and lasting impact on energy customers and the future of the solar industry in Michigan. We urge the Public Service Commission to reject DTE’s proposal and keep rooftop solar affordable in Michigan.”
In late May, Michigan LCV launched www.savemisolar.com to help concerned Michigan customers get involved. Michigan LCV also executed a phone call program to key lawmakers, completing 1,000 calls in total. On Wednesday, April 24, Michigan LCV hosted a town hall event that drew more than 3,000 participants to educate Michiganders about the impacts of the rate case and urge them to act.
“As a current rooftop solar customer, I cannot and will not stand by idly and watch as the freedom to affordably generate clean energy is taken away from Michiganders by big utility companies,” said Dana Rosenthal, Wolverine Lake resident. “Homeowners and businesses should have the right to choose to generate their own energy. DTE’s proposal would make the option of rooftop solar unaffordable and out of reach for many Michiganders.”
All public comments can be viewed on the MPSC website here. Michigan LCV also launched a paid media campaign that included digital ads. A radio ad also aired in the Lansing market beginning April 10. Video ads can be viewed here. To listen to the radio spot, click here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Contact: Nick Dodge, Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications (517) 333-1606