David Gard or Hugh McDiarmid Jr.
August 1, 2006
Heat Wave Underscores State Energy Needs
Efficiency, diversity could reduce electric loads, save ratepayers’ cold cash
Blistering temperatures today again forced
utilities to ask residents to limit electricity use, underscoring the need for
“With air conditioners cranked up to
handle this heat, more strain is put on the power grid. Unfortunately,
“Adding power plants before cutting wasteful energy use is like failing to shut drafty windows before you crank the thermostat up or down,” said Gard. “No sane homeowner would allow cool air-conditioned air to escape through open windows into summertime heat, but that’s essentially what we’re doing as a state.”
Since April, a stakeholder process called the 21st Century Energy Plan has been working with the Michigan Public Service Commission staff to develop a comprehensive plan for meeting the state's electric power needs. It is crucial that the final report, due to the governor by year’s end, recommends forward-thinking polices that will be embraced by legislators and regulators.
Such policies should encourage the development of renewable power - wind, solar, and biomass - as well as an aggressive efficiency package.
“Renewable power alone will not meet all of our electricity demand, but it’s a 21st Century piece of the puzzle that we’re currently not utilizing,” said Gard. “And it’s a part of the solution that doesn’t create the coal-generated pollution that scars lungs and accelerates global warming.”