The Senate on Thursday reported Senators Mike Nofs and John Proos’ energy proposal, sending it to the House to await discussion.
SB 437 and SB 438 became finalized in an S-6 form distributed last month. Key changes to the legislation included a renewable energy provision increasing the 2008 energy law’s 10 percent renewable standard by 2015 to 15 percent by the end of 2021, excluding certain net metering customers from a grid charge. Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) proposed an amendment to request a third-party auditor to inspect all costs to protect the consumer. It additionally would have eliminated the ability for the Public Service Commission to set the planned reserve margin and eliminated the utilities from seeking decoupling for revenue shortfalls. This amendment was defeated by voice vote.
SB 437 was passed with a vote of 26-11, and SB 438 with a vote of 26-10. This legislation would require utilities to competitively bid for new generation projects, would expand the role of the Utility Consumer Participation Board and Attorney General on behalf of rate payers in rate cases, would require all electric providers adhere to resource adequacy rules to ensure long-term capacity, would require customers moving to electric choice to pay a capacity charge, would require the Public Service Commission to undertake a study of performance based rates, would add 21 new FTEs, and would require utilities to demonstrate they have at least 15 percent in renewable resources.
Senator Nofs is hoping to have the package on Governor Rick Snyder’s desk by the end of the year.