Michigan residents and business owners need more choices when it comes to electricity, but a bill making its way through Lansing would put an end to the limited options that currently exist.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Director of Environmental Policy Jason Hayes and adjunct scholar Ted Bolema wrote about the impact Senate Bill 437 would have in an op-ed published by Bridge magazine. Despite supporters’ claims that the bill would not affect consumers who use Michigan’s limited electricity choice program, Hayes and Bolema cite a report from UBS Financial Services that found electricity choice would “whither organically under the law.” 

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So the big utilities stand to make a substantial profit if choice “withers.” But Michigan energy users have repeatedly stated in public polling that they value electricity choice and would like to see it expanded. In one 2013 poll, 82 percent of Michigan residents supported electricity choice. A 2016 poll showed that 66 percent supported expanding electricity choice beyond the current 10 percent limit.

According to state data, more than 11,000 electricity customers were waiting to join the choice program in December and one in four residents said they would buy electricity from an alternative supplier were they allowed to do so.

Read the full op-ed in Bridge magazine.


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