Utility front groups in Michigan emerge from the shadows

Alliance for Michigan Power, Citizens Energizing Michigan’s Economy exposed as front groups for DTE, Consumers Energy

Lansing, MI – Front groups for Michigan’s major monopoly utilities – DTE Energy and Consumers Energy – have emerged from the shadows and are running digital ads in opposition to legislation that would expand access to rooftop solar across the state.

A full analysis is available from the Energy and Policy Institute. It shows that their digital ads specifically target Democratic Representatives John Cherry, Jim Haadsma, Donna Lasinski, Mari Manoogian, and Ranjeev Puri.

“It’s unfortunate, but not surprising that the same big utility companies that raise rates for customers every chance they get are using front groups to bash good legislation that would actually help customers lower their energy bills by expanding access to rooftop solar,” said Bob Allison, deputy director, for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “Michigan should lift the arbitrary cap on rooftop solar so our state’s clean energy sector can grow jobs and curb dangerous pollution to better protect our Great Lakes and improve public health.”

Given recent utility scandals in Ohio and Illinois, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and Vote Solar said it’s important that consumers are aware of Michigan utility companies’ significant political spending.

“Michigan’s utilities are raising rates year after year and restricting access to rooftop solar for Michigan families and businesses,” said John Delurey, Midwest Director for Vote Solar. “They are hesitant to be seen directly influencing the legislators that make the energy rules and the regulators that implement them, so they hide behind groups like the Alliance for Michigan Power and Citizens Energizing Michigan’s Economy.”

The Michigan House Energy Committee is considering HB 4326, which would lift the arbitrary 1% cap on local solar.

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