Ask Lawmakers to Move Forward for Clean Energy

Michigan residents should be entitled to clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and affordable electricity. Depending on dirty fossil fuel energy sources like coal threatens the air we breathe and our Great Lakes, rivers and streams. In addition to harming our health, coal-generated electricity is expensive—coming in at almost twice the cost of recent wind contracts. Clean energy such as wind, solar and energy efficiency are the solution to these problems.

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Move Forward on Clean Energy
I am writing to ask you to SUPPORT: - Increasing Michigan's renewable energy standard to 30% by 2030, as the Public Service Commission and Energy Office have all said is readily achievable. - Increasing Michigan's energy optimization standard from 1% to 2% annually. - Removing the existing spending cap on Michigan's energy efficiency program. - Ensuring that "clean" or "renewable" energy is not redefined to include any fossil fuels, nuclear energy, or energy from incinerating wastes. -Ensuring that customers are able to produce their own energy and are allowed to either use that energy themselves or sell it back to a utility company at full price, not a wholesale or lowered price. Michigan has the highest energy costs in the Midwest and this burdens our families and businesses. Data shows that renewable energy now costs less than all other forms of energy. While the costs of coal and nuclear energy range from $108-133 per megawatt/hour, some of the latest wind contracts came in at $43 per megawatt/hour. The governor's recent report on renewables states that we can achieve a 30% renewable energy standard (RES), providing great potential to rein in the high costs of electricity. The utility companies are on track to meet the current RES by the end of 2015 but we need a plan for Michigan's energy future. That's why we're urging the legislature to increase the RES to 30% by 2030. Another way to reduce cost for ratepayers is by reducing our consumption of electricity through energy efficiency. Whether it's a homeowner updating an old, inefficient furnace, a hospital installing a new lighting system, or a small-business owner adding insulation, energy efficiency benefits all of us. Current law set a standard of 1% annual savings and has been highly successful. In fact, for every $1 invested in energy efficiency, ratepayers save $4.38. This standard should be increased to 2% and the arbitrary spending cap on the program should be removed in order to provide further cost savings and reduce our consumption of energy. Michigan currently spends $24 billion a year importing fuel into the state, for both transportation and power. We get 100% of our fuel for coal and nuclear energy and 80 percent of our natural gas from other states. Solar and wind are fuelless; once installed, the cost of energy is zero. That is all money that then gets spent in Michigan instead of sent out of state to import fuel. Increasing our use of renewable energy and energy efficiency will also reduce pollution and give Michigan cleaner and healthier air and water. Coal plants emit toxic pollutants like mercury, arsenic and chromium, trigger 68,000 asthma attacks and cause 180 premature deaths every year in Michigan. By moving to cleaner sources of energy, we will have cleaner air and water, protect our Great Lakes, reduce illness and ultimately save lives. Increasing the state's renewable energy standard to 30%, increasing the energy efficiency standard from 1% to 2% annually, removing the existing spending cap on the energy efficiency program, enabling net metering/distributed generation and protecting the definition of "renewable" and "clean" energy will help to rein in electricity costs, improve our public health, and clean up our air and water. I urge you to support these initiatives for the sake of myself, my family, and future generations!