Newsletter: Budget Passes, New Appointments to the MPSC and EGLE and More

Welcome to the weekly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan. Here’s what’s new this week:


Michigan Budget Passes, Funds Energy Priorities

This week the Michigan legislature approved a $81.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 that included hundreds of millions of dollars, much of that coming from the federal government, to fund provisions related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, EV infrastructure and more.

The budget increases funding for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) by over 40% by drawing on funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), MLive reported.

Michigan EIBC highlights the following advanced energy budget provisions:

  • $125 million for transition school buses to electric vehicles
  • $30 million for creating renewable ready communities through incentives to local communities for installing new renewable projects
  • $21.3 million for renewable energy and electrification infrastructure enhancement and development grants to businesses, nonprofits, and local units of government for the purpose of planning and developing renewable energy and EV charging projects
  • $20.5 million in federal funds for weatherization and $40 million for weatherization full-time equivalents
  • $25 million for pre-weatherization or home repair funding
  • $50 million for energy and water infrastructure projects at schools and $20 million for school energy audits
  • $250,100 for an energy efficiency and renewable energy revolving loan fund
  • $1 million for state fleet electrification
  • $5.5 million for Michigan EIBC member Michigan Saves
  • $5 million for a community solar project in Ann Arbor


MPSC, EGLE and Growing Michigan Together Appointment Announcements

Governor Whitmer announced a number of appointments today at the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and the new Growing Michigan Together Council.


Alessandra Carreon was appointed as Commissioner to the MPSC. Carreon is a manager for Carbon-Free Transportation at RMI. Carreon leads an electric vehicle (EV) battery circularity initiative and projects that focus on equitable fleet electrification and accessible EV charging infrastructure. Prior to RMI, Carreon was the manager of the Responsible Material Sourcing for Ford Motor Company. She has also worked with Ford’s Global Sustainability team on corporate sustainability programs, and has a background in regulatory compliance, environmental consulting, social enterprise, and entrepreneurship. Previously, she served as board vice-chair for Ecoworks, as board president of The Villages Community Development Corporation, as corporate secretary of the End of Life Vehicle Solutions, as a steering committee member for the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative, and as a board member for the US Green Building Council – Detroit. She succeeds Commissioner Tremaine Phillips, who has resigned.

Chair Dan Scripps was reappointed as Chair of the MPSC. Scripps is a current commissioner with the Public Service Commission, appointed by Governor Whitmer in February 2019 and was named Chair in July 2020. Prior to his appointment, he was the Midwest policy program director for the Energy Foundation. Commissioner Scripps has also served as president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and Institute for Energy Innovation and as a vice president with Advanced Energy Economy. As an attorney, he practiced law in the Washington D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, and served as a state representative for Benzie, Leelanau, Manistee, and Mason counties in the Michigan House of Representatives. 

These appointments are subject to advice and consent of the Senate.


Phil Roos was appointed as the new Director of EGLE. Roos is an entrepreneur, business leader, and a consultant with deep expertise in organizational strategy, innovation, and growth. He’s currently the CEO of Upland, a strategic foresight, strategy, and innovation consultancy that he founded in 2015. He has held senior leadership positions in a number of companies, including Little Caesars and Quaker Oats as well as early stage companies and two other consulting firms, which he founded. He has a deep background in conservation and environmental protection. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Business School. Roos succeeds Dan Eichinger, who resigned in April 2023.

Kara Cook was announced as Chief of Staff for EGLE. Cook has worked in various roles within the Executive Office of the Governor, most recently serving as a Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Whitmer focused in the areas of energy and environmental protection. Before joining the Executive Office of the Governor, Cook served on the Whitmer-Gilchrist transition, where she helped set an agenda for the Governor’s first 100 days in office. Previously, she worked in government affairs at the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. Cook holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Grand Valley State University.  

Growing Michigan Together Council

Earlier this month, Governor Whitmer announced the Growing Michigan Together Council to bring together stakeholders to develop a strategy for attracting and retaining talent in Michigan. Today, the Governor’s Office announced the appointees to the Council, including Linda Apsey, President and CEO for Michigan EIBC member company ITC Holdings Corp.

Ms. Apsey earned a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in public affairs management from Michigan State University. Ms. Apsey is appointed to represent the interests of the private sector, labor, workforce development and talent, infrastructure, non-profit or philanthropy, and education, for a term commencing June 30, 2023, and expiring at the pleasure of the governor.

C-PACE and Solar PILT Bills Sent to Governor’s Desk, ‘Right to Charge’ Bill Advances

The Michigan Legislature has passed bills to expand commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing and give solar projects options to make payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILT).

Those bills are now waiting for Gov. Whitmer’s signature. Meanwhile, HB 4706, also known as the “Right to Charge” bill, passed the House on June 28, and now goes to the Senate. The “Right to Charge” bill would make it clear that businesses that sell EV charging services do not automatically meet the definition of “electric utility” under Michigan law, easing the path for more businesses to add EV chargers and qualify for federal funding.

The House passed the C-PACE bills, SB 302 and SB 303, on June 27. The Senate had already passed them in May. SB 302 and SB 303 would expand the types of projects that are eligible for C-PACE financing and ease the energy savings requirements in the C-PACE statute so that more projects that produce incremental energy savings can qualify. Shortly before the Senate vote on these bills, a letter from executives of Michigan EIBC, Michigan EIBC members Lean & Green Michigan and PACE Loan Group and C-PACE Alliance to the Michigan Senate Energy & Environment Committee called for the passage of the legislation, saying that C-PACE “can improve business operations, revitalize communities, provide access to favorable financing, lower energy bills, and make properties more valuable – all while creating jobs in the process.”

On June 28, the Senate passed the solar PILT bills, HB 4317 and HB 4318. The House approved them just last week. These bills would allow utility-scale solar systems over 2 MW in size, at the discretion of local governments, to make PILT payments instead of paying ad valorem property taxes. Dr. Sherman testified in favor of HB 4317 and HB 4318 before the House Committee on Tax Policy in May, saying that the bills represent “an opportunity to move away from the fraught current system toward one that provides long term certainty, stability and consistency. We’re really hopeful that the passage of this legislation leads to more support in local communities for solar projects.”


Image Source: JK Nair.

Michigan EIBC Testimony in DTE Rate Case Lays Out Better Plan for EV Charging, Transportation Electrification and Distributed Generation

DTE is seeking a $622 million rate increase in its ongoing rate case. In testimony recently filed in the case on behalf of Michigan EIBC, the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) and Advanced Energy United, witnesses made extensive recommendations regarding DTE’s demand response tariffs, the need for commercial and industrial time of use rates, and reasons why generation meters are unnecessary for commercial solar installations. Michigan EIBC President Laura Sherman also made recommendations on how DTE’s EV plans, ranging from home EV charger programs to plans to build commercial EV charging hubs to rates for vehicle-to-grid charging, can be more open to competition and better suited for the EV transition. 

Her testimony also shows how DTE has given no technical, safety or cost-based reason to maintain its cap on distributed generation and recommends eliminating the cap.

In the case, DTE is requesting to make several of its EV pilot programs permanent. Dr. Sherman’s testimony argues that several of these pilot programs should be made permanent, but with modifications, and in some cases argues that the program should remain a pilot until changes are made to resolve the unfair advantages that DTE, as a monopoly utility, can exert over private competitors.

For example, DTE wants to build and own public charging stations for medium- and heavy duty fleets as part of the Charging Hubs program. Dr. Sherman recommends that instead of using ratepayer funds to expand this program, those funds should go to “a make-ready infrastructure and rebate program to better enable the competitive market.” “It is very important that a monopoly public utility not be allowed to intrude and influence the marketplace where competitors exist to provide a commodity or service,” Dr. Sherman wrote in her testimony. “Further, any programs that do include utility ownership and operation of EV charging stations must be carefully designed with parameters in place to ensure that the utility’s participation complements, rather than competes with, the competitive market.”

Dr. Sherman also recommended ways that DTE’s transportation electrification plan can align with the MI Healthy Climate Plan’s goals for the state to deploy 2 million EVs and 100,000 charging stations by 2030. Specifically, the MPSC should encourage DTE to develop a five-year transportation electrification plan that takes steps like reducing barriers to a robust and competitive EV charging market, implementing automated load management to mitigate peak load impacts of EV charging and laying out a plan to proactively identify and fund necessary grid upgrades to deploy EV charging.

EQ Research President Justin Barnes filed testimony on behalf of Michigan EIBC, IEI, and Advanced Energy United that laid out the case for optional, time-of-use rates for industrial and commercial customers that would provide new options for businesses to adopt behind-the-meter generation.

Other expert witness who filed testimony on behalf of Michigan EIBC, IEI and Advanced Energy United included CPower Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs Kenneth Schisler, who testified on how to make DTE’s demand response programs more open to competition, and EQ Research Principal Energy Policy Analyst Jason Hoyle, who testified that the MPSC should ease the path for interconnection of distributed generation in DTE’s service territory.



Keynote Speaker Announced for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala in Detroit on Sept. 27

Michigan EIBC is excited to welcome our members, Michigan legislators and state officials, and the general public to our 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on September 27th at The Eastern in Detroit. Gala is a wonderful opportunity to network with colleagues, policymakers, and industry experts, all while celebrating the individuals and businesses who succeeded in growing Michigan’s advanced energy sector. For more event information and to purchase tickets, click here.

The keynote speaker will be Shalanda Baker, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to her appointment, she was a Professor of Law, Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. She was the co-founder and co-director of the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change. Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge pursuant to the then existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. She earned a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please reach out to Brianna | brianna@mieibc.orgYou can review sponsorship levels and benefits here.


Terawatt Level

Megawatt Level

Kilowatt Level

The Watt Level (Sold Out)

Renewing Members



SEEL, formed in 2009, is a leading minority-owned energy program services company. Focusing on community, quality and cost-effectiveness, SEEL is one of the largest minority-owned energy management firms in the country. SEEL is committed to providing opportunities to local displaced workers in all areas of operation to meet the needs of the company programming. SEEL has put in place a training program that converts former blue collar workers into green collar advocates, a skill set that prepares them, not only to work at SEEL, but for the future. SEEL brings more than just innovation to energy services. We bring a commitment to bettering our community. Our award-winning design, installation, and customer service teams support homeowners, landlords and business owners – making a more cost–effective, environmentally sound energy program a simple choice.

Michigan Energy News

  • heated Michigan House hearing sees Republican and Democratic representatives arguing over proposed clean energy bills.
  • Former President Trump claims electric vehicles will “decimate” Michigan in a speech to the Oakland County Republican Party.
  • The city of Detroit is planning an initiative to turn vacant land into homes for solar panels, with neighborhoods expected to be able to apply for projects.
  • Former Michigan EIBC President and Michigan EGLE Director Liesl Eichler Clark is announced as the first director of sustainable climate action engagement at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS). 
  • Lawmakers in the House, Energy, Communications and Technology Committee question DTE Energy CEO Jerry Norcia over rate hikes and executive compensation in a hearing.

National Energy News

  • “The key to lowering the cost of the electrification movement is energy management and demand response, starting with local solar and storage,” Local Solar for All Campaign Manager Robin Dutta writes in Utility Dive.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launches the $7 billion Solar for All initiative, which offers up to 60 grants to states, territories, tribal governments, municipalities and eligible nonprofit groups.
  • A bill in the Ohio legislature could allow utilities to voluntarily reintroduce energy efficiency programs.
  • Rondo Energy, which uses an unconventional “brick” technology, is set to open the biggest battery storage factory in the world in Thailand. 
  • States are making “incremental” but not “transformational” progress in adopting policies to encourage EVs, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Job Board

Attention Michigan EIBC members: if you have a job announcement you would like in the newsletter, please send a paragraph describing the position and a link to apply to Matt Bandyk at Please include in the email a specific end date for the job posting.


Stakeholder Relations Intern. Location: Remote.

The Stakeholder Relations Intern will work within AES Clean Energy’s Stakeholder Relations team in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and many other MISO & ERCOT territory states. This is an exciting opportunity to learn and apply industry-leading engagement strategies to empower communities and advance a carbon-free future. This role will support AES’ strategic renewable energy related stakeholder engagement from drafting communications and collateral materials to strategic planning, social impact development, and local community engagement. This role will report to the Manager of Stakeholder Relations MISO & ERCOT and is an excellent opportunity for someone who is planning a career in the renewable energy industry. 



Public Affairs Specialist. Location: Remote.

The Public Affairs Specialist will monitor legislation, regulations, and incentive programs across key Midwest U.S. states, assess their impact on FLO’s go-to-market strategy, and report this information accordingly to the relevant teams. The Public Affairs Specialist will collaborate with multiple teams, including but not limited to the Sales Team, Marketing Team, Product Team, and Communications Team to respond to legislative and regulatory issues as well as support FLO’s overall go-to-market strategy. The Public Affairs Specialist will serve as part of FLO’s Public Affairs Team and will report to the Public Affairs Director but will ultimately work in a highly collaborative environment with other teams.


Michigan and National Energy Events

On July 18-20, PlugVolt will be hosting Battery Seminar 2023 in Plymouth, Mich., featuring an entire day of in-depth technical tutorials on cutting-edge battery research presented by industry subject matter experts and world renowned professors from Top 50 U.S. Universities. The next two days will include complementary industry updates provided by speakers from Automotive and Grid Storage OEMs, major battery manufacturers and global Tier 1 system developers and suppliers. Attendees will also get an exclusive opportunity to tour INTERTEK Battery Testing Center of Excellence in Plymouth, MI (USA) firsthand, ask questions to resident experts, and enjoy some light appetizers and beverages while networking with industry peers. Register here.

Save the dates Aug. 6-9 for the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) Annual Meeting at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.

Tickets are available for the 11th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala on Sept. 27 at The Eastern in Detroit.


The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO) has two job openings: Director of Mobility Policy, who will be an advisor to LEO and serve as the lead policy staffer for the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, and Policy Director, who will cover a broad portfolio of issues across the entire department including workforce development, economic mobility and workplace rights and safety.

Organizations currently have the opportunity to work with a grad student from the University of Michigan School for Environment & Sustainability (SEAS) for their Master’s Projects. In these projects, “students work on research teams with client organizations and faculty advisors to address complex environmental issues and design innovative, impactful products,” according to SEAS. Learn more here. Proposals for projects are due by September.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to expand the weatherization assistance program utilizing bipartisan infrastructure law funding for multi-family dwellings. The five-month award begins on May 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2023, with the total available amount being $1 million dollars. Successful applicants may be awarded funding annually through at least Sept. 30, 2028, based upon funding availability and acceptable performance. For more information or to apply, visit the EGrAMS website.

Consumers Energy Company has announced it will seek competitive bids in response to a RFP from participants in the MISO Energy Market in accordance with the Company’s expansion of the Voluntary Green Pricing (“VGP”) Program. With this RFP, Consumers Energy will solicit proposals for solar and wind generation projects, separate and distinct from the ongoing Consumers Energy 2022 IRP RFP for solar generation projects. RFP documents are available here and applications are due June 30.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Buildings Upgrade Prize (Buildings UP) is offering more than $22 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to teams across America with winning ideas to accelerate widespread, equitable energy efficiency and building electrification upgrades. Follow Buildings UP on for all prize-related updates. Phase 1 submissions are due by July 18.