Mich. (WJMN) – Clean energy advocates and state legislators held a virtual press conference Thursday afternoon urging lawmakers to advance the “MI Power for All” plan. The plan consists of bills that would invest in and allow more access to community solar and storage adoption across the state, with a focus on making clean energy accessible for low-income households.

The press conference comes ahead of the legislature’s September reconvening and the September 26 deadline to apply for federal grants through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Solar for All Competition. The package of bills would support Michigan’s efforts to attract billions of dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The Citizens Utility Board of Michigan does a ranking of the most expensive electricity costs residential electricity costs, Michigan ranks 10th in terms of high electric costs, while experiencing some of the worst grid reliability,” said State Rep. Jenn Hill. “And where I represent in the Upper Peninsula, the costs are even higher. As of August 1, the average electricity rate for small residential customers in [Upper Peninsula Power Company] territory was nearly 30 cents a kilowatt. Despite these high rates, outages are common, they’re hitting household checkbooks hard and endangering lives. We need to shift to clean energy and energy storage to cost effectively address climate change and avoid these outages.”

Sen. Jeff Irwin says this legislation has been introduced to address a state law that caps solar power to Michigan residents.

“As an example of that just this spring, Indiana and Michigan Power reached their cap for residential rooftop solar customers. That’s right there is a cap and arbitrary cap set in Michigan law. And that allowed this utility to simply stop allowing residents into their distributed generation program. Unfortunately, that means that today there are Michigan families who cannot install solar, cannot install batteries because the law prevents them,” said Sen. Irwin.

For more information on the bills included in the “MI Power for All” plan, click here.