Michigan has large unmet demand for renewable energy among businesses

An advocacy group says Michigan utilities aren't meeting the business demand for renewables. Laura Sherman is president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. She says Michigan utilities charge too much for their voluntary renewable energy programs. She says the programs aren't adequately recognizing that wind and solar are among the cheapest sources of electricity right now. "It's a markup right now," says Sherman. "If it is the cheapest, then the customers should be reaping the benefit of that cheaper energy, long term." DTE Energy says it bases the price for its voluntary renewable program "on the actual cost of the renewable assets at the time they were built." Consumers Energy responded with this statement: Sherman also says the utilities should allow any business or city to directly contract for energy with a renewable energy developer, and then bring that contract to the utilities for implementation. Currently, only the 10% of business customers who are able to enroll in Michigan's "choice" market can choose their providers.

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