Affordable energy for underserved communities

By: Jane C. Garcia, The Detroit News, May 6, 2019

The energy strategy Michigan framed out in our 2016 energy law promises a clean energy future that is also affordable and reliable for all Michigan residents.

It is particularly vital for Michigan’s low-income and underserved communities that our leaders in Lansing stay the course we all worked together to map out so that we keep the benefits of clean and renewable energy equally accessible to everyone. Special interests are pushing for government subsidies for private solar homeowners and shifting costs to low-income residents.

We’re concerned by a recent report from the Campaign for Accountability that indicates the “[private] solar industry revealed promises of clean energy at reduced cost have proven deceptive” and that “unscrupulous actors have exploited vulnerable populations, preying on the elderly and those on fixed incomes.” While we recognize many private solar companies act in good faith, unethical practices are particularly worrisome in communities where English isn’t the first language. In other states, where solar subsidies were requested, taxpayers and homeowners have been left with empty promises and higher energy costs.

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