Gov. Rick Snyder: Michigan must take aggressive steps to avoid energy price spikes, outages

Goal is 30 to 40 percent renewable energy, waste elimination by 2025

Friday, March 13, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan must take aggressive steps and set clear energy goals to reduce the chances that families and businesses will face dramatic rate price spikes and widespread outages while ensuring that long-term decisions are made in our state, not Washington, D.C., Gov. Rick Snyder said today in a special message on energy.

The message includes a cost-based goal, with a target of 30 percent to 40 percent of renewable energy plus waste reduction within 10 years.

“Michiganders need to know that when they flick the switch, they can depend on the power and heat being there for the homes and businesses,” Snyder said.

“Decisions we make in the coming years will keep energy more affordable and available through a variety of sources while we continue being good stewards of our lakes, air and land,” Snyder said.  “We also must ensure that Michigan -- not Washington, D.C. – will determine how we move forward, transitioning from the sources of yesterday to newer, cleaner methods.”

Michigan already has made progress. Efforts to reduce energy waste already have generated savings of $2.5 billion for Michiganders. We can build on those efforts, with a goal of easily doubling that figure within 10 years.

Michiganders already use 38 percent more energy than the national average, and pay on average 6 percent higher rates on heat and electric bills. There are steps people in our state can take to reduce their energy use, saving money and reducing demand as we shift to cleaner, affordable sources.

Speaking today at the Detroit Electrical Industry Training Center in Warren, Snyder said the state has an energy capacity problem, in part because 10 coal power plants will be retired in the coming years. This comes as our economy continues to grow and demand increases, making our infrastructure and natural assets even more important to our future.

That’s a challenge, but also an opportunity for the state to take new approaches. Snyder presented an energy plan intended to help families across our state as well as the job creators that closely consider energy cost and availability while looking for states to expand or locate, creating more and better jobs and growing our economy.

Snyder said he is proposing a plan that will see Michigan through at least the next 10 years of energy decision-making. During the decade, the state must solve the shortage of electric generation – and do so  to do that while complying with new federal regulations on carbon emissions.

Snyder said the energy policy centers around the four pillars of affordability, reliability, adaptability and environmental protection.

  • A key challenge will be to dramatically reduce wasted energy, an effort that will save money for families and businesses as well as lessen the demand on the state’s power grid. We need to eliminate energy waste to meet an additional 15 percent of our energy needs by 2025. Snyder encourages a discussion with the Legislature about programs that help people replace older, wasteful items like furnaces, such as on-bill financing.
  • Power can be made more reliable through plans to deploy “smart” meters that help utilities locate outages and restore power more quickly. The state also needs to give our regulators the ability to determine that when we may face a shortage, we have the tools to address it and ensure fair choices for customers. We’ve made progress in this area. Our goal is to have residents average less than one power outage a year, and have those outages last less than two and a half hours. We’re getting closer to hitting that mark.
  • Michigan has been one of the 10 states most-dependent on coal. We must continue to focus on adaptability, with Michiganders determining how we will replace outdated coal plants and expand the use of newer, cleaner technologies such as natural gas and renewables. Our state can reach a goal of 30 to 40 percent renewables plus waste reduction within a decade.
  • Michigan’s energy generation need to be part of a healthier future, with plans to reduce mercury emissions, pollution that creates acid rain and cut down on airborne particles. Our state already is a leader in terms of safety measures tied to high-volume hydraulic fracturing. We will remain vigilant, and also continue exploring ways to promote and adopt alternative transportation fuels and autonomous vehicle technology.

Snyder said the special message includes an aggressive agenda that will require discussions and debate with his partners in the Legislature as well as continued work across state agencies and departments. It also includes reaching out to families and businesses, helping them understand the role they can play as we build upon Michigan’s promise to be a great state to live and work, now and for generations to come.

 

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Related Documents
2015 Special Message on Energy PDF icon
Energy Message Calls to Action PDF icon
Energy Message, 4 pillars PDF icon
Energy charts PDF icon