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E-M:/ Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy Discontinue Energy Efficiency



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Enviro-Mich message from wrightd@voyager.net (David Wright)
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        The following was released by MEC this morning.  The full study
documenting the demise of energy efficiency, UNPLUGGED -- HOW POWER
COMPANIES HAVE ABANDONED ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS, can be found at
http://www.ewg.org.

As Michigan's Temperatures Rise, Electric Utilities Slash Efficiency
Programs, Cost to Michigan Consumers:
Over $100 Million in '97

Lansing -- Even as summers are getting hotter and power companies are
struggling to meet increased demand, Michigan's largest electric utilities
have eliminated their energy efficiency programs, according to a new study
by the Environmental Working Group and World Wildlife Fund.  The cutback in
projected efficiency investments cost Michigan consumers an extra $100
million last year.

"Deregulation is encouraging utilities to abandon energy efficiency
programs while promoting the re-opening of dirty old coal-fired power
plants like Detroit Edison's Conners Creek," said Dave Dempsey, Policy
Director for the Michigan Environmental Council.

Michigan's two largest electric utilities cut their energy efficiency
programs by over $77 million between 1993 and 1997, based on documents
filed with the U.S. Department of Energy.  Michigan consumers will continue
to pay over $100 million in additional electricity costs each year for the
next decade because of the cuts in efficiency investments.

According to the study, if Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy had funded
energy efficiency programs in 1997 at the levels they promised in 1992,
they would have avoided emitting over 1 million tons of carbon dioxide and
9,600 tons of soot and smog-forming pollutants.

The City of Eugene, Oregon, whose utility serves some 73,000 customers,
invested more in energy efficiency than Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy
which provide electricity to over 3 million Michigan customers.

"Michigan consumers want energy efficiency and cleaner air, unfortunately
our utilities have a different agenda," said David Wright, Policy
Specialist for the Michigan Environmental Council.  "Michigan's electricity
consumers and our environment should not be sacrificed in the name of
competition."

Utilities across the country are eliminating a variety of energy efficiency
programs including rebates for the purchase of new energy efficient
appliances.  For example, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact
florescent bulbs that use one-quarter the energy saves consumers $50 over
the life of the bulb and reduces air pollution by approximately 75 percent.

The report recommends increasing investments in energy efficiency programs
by requiring utilities to set aside a small percentage of consumers' bills
for these programs and creating revolving loan funds that both reduce the
cost of energy efficiency programs and create markets for these products.

David Wright
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
(517) 487-9539* FAX: (517) 487-9541
wrightd@voyager.net
http://www.mienv.org



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