Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Michigan Jobs & Energy Coalition?
The Michigan Jobs & Energy Coalition (MJEC) was established in 2008 to support and contribute to Michigan’s comprehensive energy reform law. The MJEC knows an adequate supply of reliable and affordable electricity is critical to Michigan’s economy and quality of life.
2. Who makes up the Michigan Jobs & Energy Coalition?
Membership of the MJEC includes the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Manufacturers Association, Detroit Regional Chamber, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, Michigan Municipal Electric Association and Protect Michigan – a large coalition of building and skilled trades unions – and nearly 300 organizations and individuals, including low-income advocacy groups, human service agencies and government representatives.
3. Why did the comprehensive energy policy limit 10 percent of total electric sales for electric choice opportunities?
The Michigan Legislature and Public Service Commission spent years carefully reviewing, studying and listening to every electricity interest group before establishing the percentage. This issue and many others were the result of input from a wide array of interest groups, recognizing that compromise achieved multiple energy goals for Michigan.
The Legislature worked with the Michigan Jobs & Energy Coalition and other notable interest groups – including the Michigan Environmental Council – for compromise before adopting Michigan’s thoughtful, visionary, comprehensive energy policy with the support of a bipartisan majority.
4. How does Michigan’s energy policy provide long-term job creation opportunities?
Michigan has one of the most comprehensive energy policies in the country, providing investors the market stability needed to undertake large energy infrastructure projects. It also gives Michigan’s utilities greater access to capital to fund utility investments and reduces their borrowing costs.
Because of this comprehensive policy, Michigan’s hometown energy providers have the ability to move forward with large construction projects across the state, bringing jobs and millions of dollars in economic development to Michigan communities.
In the past five years, more than $4 billion of investments have been made in the state’s energy infrastructure, including renewable energy projects and power plant upgrades. This has helped provide greater reliability and has guarded against market price volatility for Michigan customers.
Today, Michigan is well positioned to diversify its energy portfolio, building power to meet future demand. In fact, DTE and Consumers are investing more than $800 million to upgrade the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant, and Consumers plan to invest $750 million in a new natural gas plant in Genesee County.
5. How does Michigan’s comprehensive energy policy protect Michigan families and businesses from market volatility or dramatic spikes in their energy bills?
Market volatility leading to spikes in energy prices occurs when gas prices fluctuate and when customers move between suppliers. Even when a relatively small portion of customers move between suppliers it can create huge spikes in cost for the remaining stakeholders, who must then support the fixed costs of producing and delivering power.
For example, at Detroit Edison, a 10 percent loss of customers to another provider equates to around $250 million in costs shifted to remaining customers. A 25 percent loss would equate to more than $400 million on the backs of the remaining customers.
During the development of the state’s comprehensive energy policy, Michigan families and businesses made it clear they did not want to be exposed to market volatility. To safeguard Michigan families and businesses from electric sales instability, the Legislature wisely chose to establish 10 percent of the market for choice opportunities.
6. What renewable energy and energy efficiency programs did the energy policy establish?
The Comprehensive Energy Policy of 2008 established the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Energy Optimization (EO) programs in Michigan. The RPS requires electric providers to generate 10 percent of electricity sold to retail customers from renewable energy resources by 2015. Qualifying renewable energy sources include wind, biomass, solar, hydro, and geothermal, among others.
EO is a program offered through a team of Michigan's electric utilities to provide energy efficiency education, programs and rebates designed to help consumers
better manage their energy usage.The EO program also requires utilities to create electric and natural gas energy optimization plans for each customer class in Michigan.
The EO program has stabilized rates. It has also stabilized the regulatory process in Michigan, which will attract investments for major energy infrastructure improvements. The EO program has helped create jobs, conserve energy, and place Michigan on the path toward becoming a leader in clean energy.