House Hears Testimony on Electric Choice Legislation

Posted on March 25, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

This morning the House Energy & Technology Committee heard a second week of testimony on House Bill 5184, a bill that would deregulate electricity. More specifically it would move the state from a system of hybrid electric regulation to deregulation.

The legislation would require large electric utility companies (at least 1 million customers) to submit plans to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to either sell off or to transfer their electric generation assets to an affiliate—thus separating electric generation from distribution. The affiliate would not be regulated by the MPSC.

The bill would remove the 10 percent cap on electric choice for customers of large utilities and prohibit undue market power by a large utility. It would also allow local governments, schools, colleges, and universities to aggregate to purchase electricity for residential and small commercial customers within their boundaries.
The legislation is extremely controversial and opposed by the large electric utilities. The League board has taken an official position to support lifting the cap on electric choice.
Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at [email protected]
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