Posts Tagged ‘michigan solar incentives’

Michigan Energy Policy, Needs Change In Leadership?

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Real Quick, What is net metering?
“Net Metering” is the most critical public policy and state regulated rules that govern YOUR PERSONAL ENERGY RIGHTS, FREEDOM. Through Net Metering, energy consumed and produced at a home or business that has a home wind turbine or solar system is metered and credited. Under net metering, excess electricity produced by the wind turbine will spin the existing home or business electricity meter backwards, effectively banking the electricity until it is needed by the customer. This provides the customer with full retail value for all the electricity produced.

So, whether or not you can afford a windmill or solar system for your home, THIS is where you can get involved, right here. I’m going to point out how your state of Michigan has serious limits on your personal energy rights. That’s right, people in states like Colorado, New Jersey, etc. have far more rights and freedom for personal energy than you. I’ll keep it short, but you can make these same points to your elected officials, Governor, State Representatives, Local newspapers, and Utility Commissions. Further, you can join me in calling on US Congress and US Senate to legislate a standardized Net Metering Policy, nationally. We need National Standards for Net Metering Policy to support wind and solar progress, not stifle it. Having these states all do their own thing is limiting many Americans from their personal energy rights.

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Now, let’s have a quick look at Michigan Net Metering Rules. I’m going to compare them to other states, states where the government Utility Commissions and Politicians are on the side of taxpayers and not sold out to Fat Cat Utility companies. It’s not all about corruption but just as much about YOU. If the Michigan taxpayers don’t understand what needs to happen, and make noise to public officials, then the Utility Companies are the ones most influencing policy, not the consumers.

I’ll use Colorado and New Jersey in some real basic policy comparisons so you can easily see where you, in Michigan, are getting hosed by Big Utility friendly policy and law.

Michigan Limit on System Size: 20 kW which is 20,000 watts.
OK, that is enough for a suburban home with moderate power consumption, depending on wind resources. Any large residence, normal business, or a consumer in a lower wind area could need more power than that. What does that mean? Well, it means that by your states Utility Commission rules, they and their big Utilities they are supposed to “regulate” have it fixed on the taxpayer. As a taxpayer, many larger residences and most businesses will have to go Off-Grid to generate ALL their own power. Not good enough. No freedom in that, no justice.

Compare To, New Jersey Limit on System Size: 2MW, 2,000,000 watts
OK, meaning a person in New Jersey has dramatically more rights to personal energy than a taxpayer in Michigan. That’s enough to power 2 WalMart stores! To be mathematic, a New Jersey taxpayer has 100 times the personal energy rights than a taxpayer in Michigan. That sucks for Michigan taxpayers, but maybe not so bad for the Big Utilities and the government regulators and politicians that support these limits on taxpayer rights to personal energy. They keep that ceiling over your head to hold back green energy, or keep it for themselves. We all have wind, we should all have freedom to make OUR OWN electricity from it.

Michigan Limit on Overall Enrollment: 0.5% of a utility’s peak load from the preceding year.
OK, here again, the Michigan Politicians need to act. The big Utility Companies, Utility Commission, and the fat cat politicians that they are supporting have put a tight ceiling right over the head of those wanting to have their own personal wind generation. 0.5%, is a JOKE. Here again, who do these rules and policies support, not the consumer taxpayer. What this means is that if the Net Metering SUCCEEDS and the power generated exceeds 0.5% then they can and will STOP ALLOWING more net metering permits.

Colorado Limit on Overall Enrollment: None, no limit
OK, here we are again, why should a Michigan homeowner or small business have less rights to enroll for Net Metering. What the hell? What is that bogus 0.5% ceiling where they can just stop allowing people to get Net Metering. 0.5% is a joke, that’s not aggressive at all. What that is is a goal, a goal of your Utility Commission and Big Fat Cat Utilities to hold back the progress of consumer wind and solar for their own personal energy rights. Great for Colorado, Michigan gets an F for that 0.5% and all the responsible parties who decided that need voted out and or straightened out.

Michigan Treatment of Net Excess: Carried over at the power supply (i.e., wholesale) component of the retail rate each billing period; no provision for annual true-up, so rollover may be indefinite.
OK, that’s pretty vague as to value. That means they can pay you whatever their idea is of their “wholesale cost”. Bogus. And they can take your excess without ever settling up the bill to pay you for your power generated by you, used by your neighbors. Again, your Michigan Net Metering Policy is getting an “F” for this bad policy.

Colorado, Treatment of Net Excess: Credited to customer’s next bill; IOUs: utility pays customer at end of calendar year for excess kWh credits at the average hourly incremental cost for that year. Co-ops and Munis: annual reconciliation at a rate deemed appropriate by the utility. The annual period is undefined.

Michigan Utilities Involved: All rate-regulated utilities and alternative electric suppliers.
Oh Boy, In Michigan, some of the highest cost power is in munis and co-ops. These rules are crafted to allow many over-priced Utility Companies to be outside the rules. That stinks too.

Colorado Utilities Involved: All IOUs and co-ops; munis with more than 5,000 customers
OK, Here, Colorado basically doesn’t let anyone out of Net Metering Rules, that’s really good. In Michigan, some of the highest cost power is in munis and co-ops.

*The “modified” net metering described in S.B. 213 contains provisions that are unfavorable to customer generators, and the billing practices do not meet the definition of net metering as it is practiced in most other states. For that reason, only the “true” net metering component of Michigan’s program is described in detail.

Contact: Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909
PHONE: (517) 373-3400
PHONE: (517) 335-7858 – Constituent Services
FAX:(517) 335-6863

Contact: Julie Baldwin (Net Metering)
Michigan Public Service Commission
Operations & Wholesale Markets Division
P.O. Box 30221
Lansing , MI 48909
Phone: (517) 241-6115

Contact: Michigan State Representatives:
Leadership in the House is headed by the Speaker of the House, currently Andy Dillon, who makes committee appointments and designates which committee(s) each Representative will serve on.
Here you can find a listing all 110 Michigan Representatives and their contact information, including office phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

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