DTE, Consumers Energy tepid support for  rooftop solar a blatant smokescreen

DTE, Consumers Energy tepid support for rooftop solar a blatant smokescreen

LANSING – The Michigan League of Conservation Voters today issued the following statement in response to false statements made by DTE Energy and Consumers Energy regarding House Bill 4236, which would remove the arbitrary and punitive 1% cap on affordable rooftop solar generation.

“Michigan is the only state in the country with this ridiculous restriction on creating jobs and investing in affordable rooftop solar — yet DTE and Consumers lobbyists have fought tooth-and-nail for 5 years to block this common-sense legislation,” said Bob Allison, deputy director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Our residential electricity rates have skyrocketed, resulting in Michigan having the highest energy costs in the Midwest — yet DTE and Consumers continue to spread self-serving  misinformation and ignore strong bipartisan support to end this unneeded, punitive restriction on Michigan homeowners who just want the freedom to generate their own energy.”

Know The Facts

The arbitrary 1% cap on distributed generation in Michigan is nationally unique. No other state has such punitive limits on customers’ right to generate their own clean energy. Rooftop solar provides a net benefit to the energy grid, generating electricity when the sun shines hottest and energy costs are the most expensive. The excess energy generated during these high usage times puts downward pressure on the grid and reduces energy costs for everyone. 

Furthermore, according to a 2018 report from the Michigan Public Service Commission, DTE paid rooftop solar users only a fraction of the true value for the energy produced, turning around and selling that energy back to normal customers at a much higher rate. DTE paid rooftop solar users 3.9 cents/kWH while the true value of that energy was estimated to be 13.8 cents/kWH by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

During a February 17 House Energy Committee Meeting, Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman Dan Scripps addressed the subsidy question on the record, saying, “There is no economic need for the cap. We’ve addressed the cross subsidization issues.”

On April 14, a group of more than 40 environmental justice advocates, community and faith-based organizations, residents and businesses sent a letter to lawmakers urging them to support House Bill 4236. 

“Michigan’s 1% cap on distributed generation is not only nationally unique, but it is one of the most limiting caps across the country. HB 4236, which will remove the cap, benefits pollution reduction, provides good-paying jobs, advances energy independence opportunities for low-income communities, and improves our state’s general well-being,” the groups wrote in the letter. 

The full letter can be found here.

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