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E-M:/ Attempted Raid on Low-Income Assistance/Energy Efficiency Fund

Below is link to the story about the Engler Administration's attempt to raid the Low-Income Assistance and Energy Efficiency Fund established in the deregulation legislation passed last year.


Utility help for poor up for cuts

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

By DAVID POULSON, Lansing Bureau

LANSING -- Utility shut-off protection for poor people and energy-efficiency programs across the state would be reduced under an Engler administration plan to help utilities expand their system for transmitting electricity.........

Unofficial version language included in the Conference Committee version of the Consumer and Industry Services Budget (SB233) budget (Senate journal not yet online):

Sec. 342.  Of the funds appropriated in part 1 for the low-income/energy efficiency assistance, up to $60,000,000 shall be allocated so that approximately 1/3 of the available funds shall be used to provide shut-off and other protection for low-income utility customers, approximately 1/3 shall be used for programs to facilitate more efficient use of energy by residential and business customers, and approximately 1/3 shall be used to enhance the efficient and safe use of the energy delivery system in the state.

Language that originally established the Fund:

Public Act 141 of 2000:

(6) If securitization savings exceed the amount needed to achieve a 5% rate reduction for all customers, then, for a period of 6 years, 100% of the excess savings, up to 2% of the electric utility’s commercial and industrial revenues, shall be allocated to the low-income and energy efficiency fund administered by the commission. The commission shall establish standards for the use of the fund to provide shut-off and other protection for low-income customers and to promote energy efficiency by all customer classes. The commission shall issue a report to the legislature and the governor every 2 years regarding the effectiveness of the fund.

The Conference Committee members that will prepare the second conference report are:

House: Representatives Marc Shulman, Sandra Caul and Patricia Lockwood
Senate: Senators Loren Bennett, Leon Stille and Joe Young Jr.

Prepared by:

James Clift, Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Ste. 2A
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 487-9539