In a show of full bi-partisan support for a no regrets energy policy, the Michigan Senate voted unanimously to allow Michigan municipal and coop owned utilities to offer on-bill financing programs to customers for installation of energy efficiency improvements in residential projects.
Outgoing House Appropriations Chair Representative Joe Haveman (R- Holland) introduced this bill in May of this year at the request of the City of Holland wanting to provide such financing products to customers of the Holland Board of Public Works as part of its comprehensive community energy plan.
WMSBF partner the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA) also provided unanimous support from its members for HB5397 – The Municipal Utility Residential Clean Energy Program Act. Other WMSBF member supporters included the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, City of Holland, and West Michigan Environmental Action Council, among others.
MEECA’s executive director, Brindley Byrd testified before the Senate Energy & Technology Committee on September 16, 2014 citing two specific reasons MEECA supported this legislation:
- Assurances of savings are made via compliance with nationally recognized auditing standards. This is done via the definition of a Home Energy Audit, which is the first step a homeowner takes when determining what energy efficiency improvements to install.
- The debt from loans provided by an on-bill financing program are associated with the property/meter, not the individual. This will unlock energy efficiency gains and closes the split-incentive of non-owner occupied properties.