What if a profitable monopoly with an unshakable grip on its customers refused all pleas to establish a program that, cost free, would create lots of good jobs in Michigan and aid the rise of a crucial global industry here? That’s Michigan’s situation, thanks to DTE Energy and Consumers Energy’s regrettable reluctance to renew and expand their rooftop solar programs.
Four months of meetings have failed to produce an agreement among state regulators, solar energy advocates, and the state’s top two utilities about expanding the companies’ highly popular customer-owned rooftop solar programs.
Solar advocates and staff from Michigan’s two largest utilities are mulling over a draft report that suggests ways the state could start catching up with the nation’s accelerating, jobs-rich boom in roof-top solar energy without raising customers’ rates significantly, if at all. Michigan Public Service Commission officials released the draft, which summarizes the work of the agency’s Solar Working Group, to group members on June 10 for their technical comments.