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Speaking Out!

About Energy Choices in Michigan

Join Citizens for Energy Choice to help send a strong signal to state legislators, regulators and the governor that prompt action should be taken to eliminate the cap on electric competition. There is no cost to join.

Support Competition

Support Michigan Jobs & Businesses

Support Free Choice in Michigan

Join Citizens for Energy Choice.

About Us

Citizens for Energy Choice is a non-profit organization formed to draw more attention to Michigan's Electric Choice issue and high electric utility rates. A number of organizations like Energy Choice Now and Energy Michigan are currently actively working with state legislators, regulatory agencies, alternative energy suppliers, and businesses. Citizens for Energy Choice plans to directly contact the media and the residents of Michigan. We will be active in ensuring relevant information is communicated to the citizens of Michigan via the press, Internet, and other media outlets. And, we will actively promote Energy Choice for all of Michigan's residents and businesses.

What Are We Doing

Citizens for Energy Choice is a non-profit organization formed to draw more attention to Michigan's Electric Choice issue and high electric utility rates. A number of organizations like Energy Choice Now and Energy Michigan are currently actively working with state legislators, regulatory agencies, alternative energy suppliers, and businesses. Citizens for Energy Choice plans to directly contact the media and the residents of Michigan. We will be active in ensuring relevant information is communicated to the citizens of Michigan via the press, Internet, and other media outlets. And, we will actively promote Energy Choice for all of Michigan's residents and businesses.

How Did We Get Here?

On June 5, 2000, Michigan Electric Restructuring legislation, Public Act 141, was enacted. It created the opportunity for all customers to shop for an Alternative Electric Supplier beginning January 1, 2002. The program worked well until November of 2004 See:

Pdf Document www.mackinac.org/archives/2004/s2004-03.pdf.

At that time, after intensive Utility lobbying, the Michigan Public Service Commission implemented the provision of Public Act 141 requiring customers of Alternative Electric Suppliers to pay for the "stranded" costs of the Public Utilities' past investments in generating capacity. In other words, the rates of the Alternative Electric Suppliers were increased to subsidize the larger and better-established utility companies making Suppliers less competitive See:

Pdf Document www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=7641

Several years later, after the success of Electric Choice in other states, and repeated requests from Michigan businesses, the Michigan Legislature, after prolonged media advertising and lobbying by Michigan's major Public Utilities, passed a law allowing for a "partial" Electric Choice program. Specifically, on October 6, 2008, the "Customer Choice and Electricity Reliability Act", part of Public Act 286, was enacted. It placed a cap on participation in Electric Choice by providing that no more than 10% of an electric utility's average weather-adjusted retail sales for the preceding calendar year could take retail access service from an Alternative Electric Supplier at any time.

During the 2008 legislative debate, the 10% participation cap was lobbied by DTE and Consumers as a mechanism that would help them lock-in their customer bases and provide "market certainty" when the time came to seek funding to build the new power plant that Legislators were told would be needed based on increased electric use projections. Legislators were also told during the debate that the 10% cap would take years to be reached. Misleading on all counts – the cap was reached in approximately 12 months; DTE now states their electricity usage will decline for at least the next 10 years; and Consumers Energy now decided to postpone building their new power plant See:

Pdf Document www.ecnmichigan.com/inner.asp?z=5A5659

Since the cap was put in place, Michigan consumers have seen electric rates by both utilities SOAR by over 25% – at a time when the wholesale price of electricity had fallen dramatically! In fact, significant electricity savings has been enjoyed in states that embraced competition and were able to take advantage of recent historically low wholesale energy prices See:

Pdf Document Retail-Electric-Competition-in-Michigan-Final.pdf

What Are The Benefits of Competition?

Competitive electricity markets are well-structured with effective oversight to deliver economic and environmental benefits to consumers. These markets have been restructured to promote competition among energy market participants, while maintaining strict regulatory oversight.

In competitive markets, power suppliers compete against each other to provide the best possible service at the lowest cost in order to attract and retain customers. Comparatively, in monopoly-regulated states, incumbent power providers have no incentive to innovate or lower costs because ratepayers are captive to their monopoly-protected utility.

Competition in electricity markets fosters innovation, clean energy solutions, green jobs, and competitive rates. It also enables retail customers to shop for innovative energy management solutions and helps lower costs and preserve jobs.

Source: www.competecoalition.com/about

We Need Your Help!

  1. Contact your State Representative and State Senator today and tell them you want greater electric competition in Michigan and a chance to choose your own electric supplier to save on your monthly electric bills. Tell them you want greater electric competition to allow Michigan businesses to be more competitive and enable them to keep Michigan jobs in Michigan. (To find your State Senator's contact information, go to www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html to find your State Representative's contact information, go to www.house.michigan.gov/mhrpublic
  2. Join Citizens for Energy Choice! There is no cost to join. Joining Citizens for Energy Choice will help provide the message to our State Legislators and Regulators as to how important this issue is to Michigan citizens and businesses.
  3. Tell everyone you know to join Citizens for Energy Choice – your neighbors, places you shop, where you worship, your local Chamber of Commerce – any individual or business you know that doesn't want to pay more than they have to for the electricity they use.
  4. Finally, when the time comes, cast your votes for State Legislators that support Electric Choice for all of Michigan's citizens and businesses.