Senate approves Richardville legislation that will help increase Michigan’s renewable energy use
LANSING-The Senate today unanimously approved legislation that will institute an aggressive renewable portfolio standard in Michigan without a government mandate or a surcharge on consumers, said Sen. Randy Richardville.
The measures will require state government to purchase increasing amounts of renewable energy during the next two decades as long as the energy can be economically produced.
“State government is one of the largest consumers of electrical energy in Michigan,” said Richardville, R-Monroe. “It makes sense for the state to lead the way and purchase more renewable energy. This will prevent taxpayers from having to pay higher utility rates while still helping Michigan use more reliable and affordable energy.”
Under the proposed legislation, the Department of Management and Budget will be required 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. The purchase requirement will exist as long as the price of renewable energy is within five percent of non-renewable energy.
Senate Bill 1041, sponsored by Richardville, would require utility companies to put information on customers’ bills to educate consumers about the availability of renewable energy programs and potential tax credits.
“Although consumers will not be required to purchase renewable energy, they will still have the option to buy it,” Richardville said. “If they choose to do so, they may be eligible for an income tax credit. We want to encourage state residents to buy renewable energy, but we don’t want to impose a government mandate.”
The Senate is taking a deliberative approach to RPS legislation to ensure that the higher cost of renewable energies is not simply passed on to residents via higher utility rates. This is in contrast to the House plan at a cost to taxpayers of up to $8 billion.
This legislation is part of the Senate’s “Green Michigan Initiative,” which focuses on Great Lakes and water protection, expansion of recycling in Michigan, development of green energy alternatives, and reduction of waste in Michigan landfills.
The bills have been sent to the House for consideration.
Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008
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