FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 4, 2013
Local voices call for more renewable energy, energy efficiency before governor’s energy forum at Delta College
UNIVERSITY CENTER – Local businesses, consumers, health professionals, academics, environmental and conservation advocates testified in favor of increasing Michigan’s use of renewable energy and energy efficiency at Gov. Rick Snyder’s third energy forum held Monday on the campus of Delta College.
The Michigan Public Service Commission recently released a report highlighting the fact renewable energy and energy efficiency are creating Michigan jobs and helping to rein in rising energy costs. For every $1 invested in energy efficiency, customers avoid $3.55 in energy costs, according to the MPSC.
“Renewable energy and energy efficiency help rein in rising energy costs, create good jobs for Michigan workers and spark investment in our state. Additionally, the continued rapid advances in solar and wind technology have already enabled these technologies to be lower cost than new coal,” said Steve Ellebracht, president of Midland Solar Applications. “The governor’s energy forums provide an opportunity for businesses like mine to advocate for more renewable energy and energy efficiency because of these benefits.”
Michigan’s major utilities are on track to meet the current renewable energy standard of 10 percent by 2015, according to the MPSC, and renewable energy continues to be cheaper than new coal generation. Meanwhile, Michigan’s major utilities are ahead of schedule for the savings generated from investments in energy efficiency programs.
“We hope the Governor’s energy forums will pave the way for a long-term energy plan for Michigan that includes more renewables, increased energy efficiency and lets Michigan be a leader in this emerging industry,” said Mike Schulte, Michigan staff representative for Communications Workers of America. “The governor has said data must drive Michigan’s energy policy moving forward, and our coalition members are equipped with data that clearly indicates increasing Michigan’s use of renewable energy and energy efficiency will benefit our state in three areas: more jobs, more affordable energy for consumers and businesses, and improved public health.”
Nearly 30 other states have stronger renewable energy or energy efficiency standards than Michigan. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Michigan consumers spent $1.7 billion a year to import coal from other states.
Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs is a bipartisan coalition of more than 300 Michigan businesses, health professionals, labor unions, academics and scientists, agricultural and rural voices, faith leaders, environmental and conservation groups and more.
Follow the governor’s energy forums on Twitter using the hashtag #mienergy.