89.1 WEMU

Vote On Controversial Solar Energy Bill Delayed Again By State Senate Committee

May 24, 2016

Credit WEMU

 A bill that will allow utility companies to collect energy produced by residential solar panels and sell it back to homeowners at retail price continues to be stalled in a state Senate Committee. 

SB 438 will dramatically change solar energy costs for residential homeowners in Washtenaw County and throughout Michigan, essentially putting an end to the financial savings homeowners gain by installing solar power.

Dave Strenski is the founder of Solar Ypsi.

“What they [Michigan lawmakers] want to do today is drastically different than what they [wanted to do] in 2005. Instead of me making power on my roof and just using it in my house, what they want to do now is have me generate electricity on my roof and send it directly to the utility companies.”

He says the energy sold back will be at retail prices, much higher than the wholesale price utilities will buy it at from homeowners.

The Senate Energy and Technology Committee has held the bill for months. They delayed a decision on the legislation today by canceling a scheduled meeting.

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— Amanda LeClaire is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News.  Contact her at 734.487.3363 or email her aleclair@emich.edu