Lawmaker discusses plan that could help save on utility bills - WNEM TV 5

Lawmaker discusses plan that could help save on utility bills

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

The battle against high energy bills continues.

One local lawmaker said he knows how hundreds of Mid-Michigan families could save big on their bills.

"They ought to call Consumers. They ought to call the Michigan Public Service Commission. I think they ought to call my office and Senator Stamas' office," State Rep. Gary Glenn said.

Glenn is the chairman for the State House Energy Policy Committee. He thinks the long term answer to lower electric bills is to change a policy that has been in place for 10 years.

"In 2008 under Jennifer Granholm, the legislature gave utilities DTE and Consumers a 90 percent monopoly guarantee of market share. We now have the highest electricity rates in the Midwest, the 12th highest in the nation. And people have no choice in terms of where they get their electricity," Glenn said.

Glenn favors a switch to deregulation, something Michigan did during Gov. Engler's eight year reign from 2000 to 2008.

Glenn, who is running for a State Senate seat, plans to introduce legislation that would do just that in 2019. He doesn't think a measure like that would pass this year.

"That's going to take the agreement of both houses of the legislation and a governor. I don't think we're going to see that happen in 2018. But I'm hopeful that after the November election that we'll have a governor and a legislature that will let my people go. Will let people be free to choose where they buy their electricity," Glenn said.

Consumers Energy said not a single residential customer and very few small business customers switched providers when Michigan was deregulated between 2000 and 2008. That's because alternative energy suppliers focused on big industrial and commercial customers, which are more profitable and easy to serve.

The spokesperson said no state has deregulated since 2000 and more states across the country are moving towards full regulation. The statement went on to say Consumers cares about Michigan and the customers they serve.

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