Senate introduces renewable energy legislation without a government mandate to help increase supply and demand
LANSING-Senate lawmakers today introduced legislation, as part of their "Green Michigan Initiative," that will create a market for renewable energy in the state without imposing a government mandate, said Sen. Randy Richardville.
The 10-bill package will provide various tax incentives to increase supply and demand for renewable fuels instead of creating a requirement which would increase utility prices.
"One of the most significant issues facing our state and nation is the use of renewable energy," said Richardville, R-Monroe. "There are many different types of green energy. We should take advantage of them to help lessen our dependence on fossil fuels."
Under the proposed legislation, the Department of Management and Budget will be mandated to purchase 3 percent of renewable electrical energy by Jan. 1, 2009, 10 percent by 2010, 20 percent by 2020, and 25 percent by 2025.
Senate Bill 1041, sponsored by Richardville, will require energy companies to offer renewable energy programs to their customers and educate them on available income tax credits.
Other measures in the legislative package will:
* Offer an income tax credit to consumers who purchase renewable energy;
* Provide residents with a tax credit to buy energy efficient products;
* Develop a special financing program to assist low income residents in purchasing energy efficient products;
* Create 20 additional renaissance zones for renewable energy facilities;
* Supply a sales tax exemption for equipment used to construct a renewable energy facility or to rehabilitate an existing facility; and
* Create a Renewable Energy Commission.
"Consumers will not be required to purchase renewable energy because we did not want to burden them with higher utility rates," Richardville said. "Instead, they can choose to buy green energy and receive a state tax credit to offset the cost of the renewable energy programs."
Senate Bills 1000 and 1040-1048 have been sent to the Senate Energy Policy and Public Utilities Committee for consideration.
Announced in October 2007, the "Green Michigan Initiative," focuses on Great Lakes and water protection, expansion of recycling in Michigan, development of green energy alternatives, and reduction of waste in Michigan landfills.
Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2008
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