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State law creating cash incentives for saving energy at home ends

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Graham, Lester
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michigan-energy.org

A law that helped electric customers make their homes more energy efficient is ending.

The Energy Optimization program has been around since 2008 and was renewed in 2016. It offered cash incentives for energy-saving equipment and services for homeowners. Up to hundreds of dollars were given to customers for big items such as efficient furnaces.

That program ends December 31st.

Big investor owned utilities such as Consumers Energy and D-T-E Energy will continue with similar programs. But electric companies owned by municipalities or rural cooperatives can end it.

At least one cooperative, Midwest Energy and Communications (MEC) has notified customers it's ending incentives.

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Graham, Lester
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Michigan Radio
MEC emailed notices to customers on December 22nd.

Senator Jeff Irwin is hopeful they find a way to continue it until the law can be reestablished.

“These are programs that are really smart. They put people to work, making improvements to our homes and businesses that provide values, but also save more money than they cost,” he said.

Republican Representative Pat Outman and Democratic Senator Sean McCann are expected to introduce legislation to renew the program early next year.

“And so if those incentives we looked at, if they need to be increased or improved, try to continue the benefit of these programs, I think that’s something we should look at,” Irwin said.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.
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