Proposal 3: The Proposed ‘25 x 25’ Amendment to the Michigan Constitution

For some, the 10 percent RES does not go far enough. The group “Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs” has filed an initiative petition often referred to as “25 x 25” and slated to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as Proposal 3. Proposal 3 would amend the Michigan Constitution to require electricity providers to increase the percentage of their annual retail electricity sales generated by “renewable electric energy sources” to 25 percent by 2025. These energy sources are broadly defined as “wind, solar, biomass and hydropower.” The initiative directs that the resulting program “shall be implemented incrementally and in a manner that fosters a diversity of energy generation technologies.”[16]

The initiative ostensibly encourages investment inside the state, stating, “Facilities used for satisfying the standard shall be located within Michigan or within the retail customer service territory of any … [major] utility operating in Michigan.”[17] The initiative also directs, “The legislature shall enact laws to promote and encourage the employment of Michigan residents and the use of equipment manufactured in Michigan in the production and distribution of electricity derived from clean renewable electric energy sources.”

The proposal also states, “To protect consumers, compliance with the clean renewable electric energy standard shall not cause rates charged by electricity providers to increase by more than 1% in any year.”[18]

Note that here, as with the current 10 percent RES, the cost cap applies only to the cost attributable to compliance with the RES. A consumer’s bill would be permitted to rise by more than 1 percent as long as the amount considered attributable to the RES was less than 1 percent.