State Rep. John Reilly’s proposal to help schools across Michigan save money on their electricity bills has won the support of the state House’s bipartisan Affordable Energy Caucus.
The caucus – a 15-member group which Reilly chairs – is dedicated to lowering energy costs in Michigan and reviews legislation with that goal. Reilly’s House Bill 4708 was supported by an overwhelming majority of the group’s members who were present and voting at a recent meeting.
“The support of this caucus signals momentum for the legislation,” said Reilly, of Oakland. “Michigan’s electric choice programs have obvious benefits for schools and taxpayers. The more schools we allow to take advantage of these programs, the more money taxpayers will save and the more money schools will have to invest directly in the classroom.”
Reilly’s bill is pending in the House Energy Policy Committee. The legislation would allow all K-12 schools to buy electricity from any provider they choose.
Currently, many schools do not have the option to capitalize on potential savings because Michigan law caps access to alternative energy suppliers at 10 percent of the market — and the cap has been reached.
The Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative says the schools in its choice program have saved an average of $15 million a year statewide. Reilly said that is evidence all schools should have the option of buying power from alternatives to Consumers Energy and DTE.
“An arbitrary and short-sighted state law is costing schools and taxpayers money,” Reilly said. “That needs to change.”