Debate on Michigan retail electric shopping cap continues

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Advocates and opponents of energy choice continue the discussion of whether to deregulate the state of Michigan’s electricity market.

The Baltimore Sun
Written by Jamie Smith Hopkins

The back-and-forth between advocates and opponents of lifting a cap on the number of customers allowed to pick a competitive electric supplier in Michigan continues, as comments to a draft report on the issue come due.

The state in mid-October released a draft report on electric choice and set a Nov. 1 deadline for comments on that document. According to a coalition, Energy Choice Now,  in support of lifting Michigan’s 10% shopping cap, that report has incomplete and inaccurate information about competition. That cap, according to Energy Choice Now, is hurting Michigan’s economy.

During an Oct. 31 call with reporters, Jonathan Lesser, president of Continental Economics Inc., said Michigan has the highest electricity rates in the upper Midwest, costing the state jobs.

“If you’re trying to expand jobs in state, get existing business to expand and invest or new businesses to relocate, when you’re at such a competitive disadvantage with your electric prices — especially for electric-intensive manufacturing industries that use a lot of power — you’re in real danger of not only losing jobs, but losing entire industries to other states,” he said.

During that call, Lesser and Philip O’Connor, president of PROactive Strategies Inc., rebutted four arguments made against competitive electric markets. The economists, on behalf of Energy Choice Now, wrote a response to the draft report that will be filed Nov. 1.

To learn more about the benefits of energy choice, please visit the ACCES webpage on Programs & Incentives.

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