Energy costs will add expenses to farming families
State Rep. Tom Barrett of Charlotte, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Michigan Public Service Commission’s ruling that ends net metering in Michigan:
“I have heard from agricultural leaders about the high cost of energy in Michigan and the alternative energy sources they have invested in to help manage those costs. I’m disappointed that the Michigan Public Service Commission moved today to eliminate net metering, which allows users to offset their energy costs by producing their own energy on site through their own investment.
“This short-sighted decision is beyond what the legislative directive was in the 2016 energy bill, which sought to ensure that rooftop solar users were covering their grid costs. However, through the Commission’s own research it found that net-metered rooftop solar customers actually provide an overall benefit to all ratepayers. This decision is not only out of line with our neighboring states, but it is also going to be devastating for our residential home owners and rural farmers alike.
“Energy is one of the largest single costs in agriculture, and farmers need every opportunity available to manage and lower their energy bills, including net metering. This decision makes it harder for farmers to find solutions for their families and businesses. I am dedicated to working with the governor and legislative leaders to fix this decision.”