House Bill 5184 intends to end energy monopoly in Michigan
Cheaper utility bills might be on the way for Michiganders as House Bill 5184 aims to end the duopoly of DTE Energy and Consumers Energy on the supply of energy in Michigan.
The bill would effectively repeal a 2008 law, House Bill 5524, that instituted a cap of 10 percent of Michigan’s electricity market for utility companies that were not DTE Energy and Consumers Energy.
At present, more than 10,000 customers in Michigan have already switched to an alternate supplier and approximately 12,000 are on a waiting list.
According to the Mackinaw Center, from 2008-12, retail electricity prices increased 27.2 percent in Michigan.
In contrast, the U.S. saw a net 0.9 percent decrease in price, while other Great Lakes states averaged an 8.1 percent increase.
Consumers Energy and DTE Energy have both publicly denounced the bill, stating it would result in higher prices and a less stable market.
Additionally, they said the legislation would shift a burden of hundreds of millions of dollars in fixed costs upon customers who remained with the companies.
The bill was introduced in December by Mike Shirkey, R-Clarke Lake.
A study by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce found Illinois electricity consumers are spending $37 billion less since the electricity monopoly ended in the state.