Newsletter: Bills Would Expand Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Targets

This newsletter was originally published on June 19, 2017.

Bills would expand RPS to 50% by 2035, double efficiency standard

A group of Michigan legislators last week introduced legislation to increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard from 15% by 2021 to 50% by 2035, while at the same time boosting the annual energy efficiency savings requirement for electric utilities from 1% to 2%, beginning in 2022. The energy efficiency bills are SB 476, introduced by State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor), and HB 4791, introduced by State Representative Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township), while the bills to increase the renewable requirements are SB 475, introduced by State Senator Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) and HB 4792, introduced by State Representative Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo).

“Our legislation that increases the renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2035 will spur innovation in Michigan’s clean energy industry and create good jobs for Michiganders,” said Sen. Warren. “Expanding renewable energy will boost Michigan’s green energy sector and make our state a national leader within this emerging industry.”


Red States Lead in Wind Energy

According to the New York Times, the strongest push for advanced energy is coming from red states, especially when it comes to wind. Over two thirds of all wind power produced in the country comes from states that President Trump carried in November. In these states, the push for clean energy is not coming from a place of concern for the environment, but rather because it makes good economic sense. Look for these trends to continue as developers look to those communities with good wind resources, available land, access to transmission, and community support for the economic development benefits wind energy provides.


Michigan Energy News:


National Energy News:


Michigan Energy Events:

Join Groundwork Center and the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association at Northwestern Michigan College June 23-25 in Traverse City for a conference designed to mobilize clean energy investments in homes, businesses, and communities. The conference includes a free film screening, panel discussions, keynote speakers, and a fair. For more information, click here.

The 2017 CHP Conference is taking place Wednesday, June 28 in Grand Rapids. This year’s conference is focused on the food processing, health care, and higher education sectors, and includes a primer on CHP technology and its applications; sector-specific case studies, showing how companies and institutions save money on energy costs by installing CHP systems; information on available technical resources and financing options; and a lunchtime update on the Michigan CHP Roadmap currently being developed for the Michigan Energy Office.

The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan is hosting a program entitled “PACE in West Michigan – Making Building Efficiency Upgrades Affordable” on July 12 in Grand Rapids. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is now available in the City of Wyoming, and is under consideration in the cities of Grand Rapids, Walker, Grandville, East Grand Rapids and Kentwood. This event will provide information detailing how to use this new financing option for upgrading the energy efficiency of commercial, industrial, multi-family and non-profit buildings. For more information or to RSVP, click here.

The 2017 PlugVolt Battery Seminar is scheduled for July 18-20 in Ann Arbor. Industry leaders, policy decision-makers, and key stakeholders from more than 80 companies are expected to gather at the PlugVolt Battery Seminar to learn more about the challengers and opportunities for energy storage systems in grid/utility storage and automotive applications. Register here.

The Michigan Public Service Commission will host a technical conference on the future of electric vehicle charging on August 9 at the public service commission office, 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing. Subject matter experts interested in participating in a panel are asked to submit a letter of interest, resume and summary of expertise to Al Freeman at the commission offices or by e-mail to

The 1st Annual Sustainable Detroit Forum is scheduled for October 25. The event will consist of interactive learning, keynotes, and short presentations. Acoustic musicians will perform during breaks. Proposals for presentations will be accepted for Sustainable ProjectsPersonal Green Stories, and Lessons Learned/Greatest Failures. Proposals are due July 14.


National Energy Events: 

Greentech Media’s Grid Edge World Forum 2017 will be held in San Jose, CA on June 27-29. As the only conference exclusively focused on emerging distributed energy system, this event highlights the trends, opportunities, and innovation happening at the grid edge.


Additional Resources:

A web site from the Michigan Public Service Commission provides details on the laws, which took effect on April 20. For more information, or to sign up for notifications, visit

Google’s free online tool, Project Sunroof, now shows which homes have already installed rooftop solar panels.

The Michigan Energy Office is offering rebates to eligible applicants to upgrade existing public streetlights with LED lights through the Exterior LED Lighting Rebate Program. The purpose of this program is to encourage energy waste reduction and promote community vitality by accelerating the transition to energy efficient LED lighting. MEO will match utility rebates up to $0.35/W reduced. Applicants with no utility rebate will be awarded at a rate of $0.35/W reduced. For more information or to apply, click here.