Michigan looks to save energy as coal power plants shut down 

downloadThe state is asking for public comment on how to get more households on power saving plans with their electric company.

Those plans are called Demand Response Programs.

They’re offered through power companies as a way for households or businesses to cut down on their energy use.

There are many different types, but they can be as simple as installing motion sensors for your lights.

Judy Palnau is with the MPSC. She said it’s becoming more important to save energy.

“Right now in Michigan we’re facing a situation in which DTE energy and Consumers Energy are shutting a number of coal fired plants. We need to be thinking about Michigan’s future energy needs, and it’s a lot cheaper to not use energy, than it is to build a new plant. And Demand Response is a key way to do that.”

Dan Bishop is Consumers Energy’s Senior Public Information Officer. He said the Demand-Response Programs will be important in Michigan’s near future.

“We’ve got 25 coal plants shutting down in Michigan. As electricity in the Midwest dries up, giving people more information about their own energy use is very important. We will need new clean power plants, but at the same time helping customers use energy more efficiently is also helpful.”

Bishop said Consumers is accelerating the installation of smart meters, which, he said makes saving energy easier.

He said they plan to have the meters installed across their customer base by the end of 2017.

To submit your comment to the MPSC, e-mail them to this address. mpscedockets@michigan.gov