Capital News Service

of the Michigan State University School of Journalism

New state bonds proposed to boost energy efficiency

By CHENQI GUO
Capital News Service

LANSING — Some lawmakers want the state to be able to issue bonds to help homeowners pay for energy efficiency measures such as renewable energy systems, storm windows, automated energy controls and new heating and air conditioning units.

Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing, said, “We are working on a bill which would provide homeowners in Michigan for ‘clean energy’ bonds. It would change the way that heating system operates.”

Low-interest loans would help homeowners improve energy efficiency and reduce use. They would also receive instructions about more energy-efficient appliances.

“The state doesn’t need to build so many facilities if the state energy needs are reduced. Hopefully it’ll help the economy,” Meadows said.

Clean energy promotes the state economy in several ways, with creating jobs as the most direct one, said Hugh McDiarmid, communications director of the Michigan Environmental Council.

“It creates new employment opportunities in the manufacturing industry and stimulates the economy by not polluting the environment,” he said.

“We built the state’s first wind farm. Wind is used as an important power source in the Great Lakes area,” he said.

Cities, counties and villages would have the option to participate in the proposed bond program.

“The interest is in the power of local units of government so it may vary from county to county,” said Rep. Robert Jones, D-Kalamazoo.

However, not everyone sees the need for such bonds.

Samantha Harkins, legislative associate for Michigan Municipal League, said Ann Arbor is pushing the bill.

“I don’t want to say it’s a controversial one, but it’s offering options that other counties don’t need to have,” Harkins said.

The league represents cities and villages.

She said Ann Arbor is on the cutting edge of energy efficiency, and the bill would be helpful for the city’s energy office.

The lead sponsor is Rep. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor. Co-sponsors include Reps. Dan Scripps, D-Leland; Sarah Roberts D-St. Clair Shores and Lesia Liss, D-Warren.

The Great Lakes and Environment Committee has passed the bill which is pending in the full House.

© 2010, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Story as a Google Doc

Advertisements

Filed under: Budget

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About CNS

CNS reporters cover state government — issues and personalities.



Covering stories of meaning to their member papers, they come in contact with the important newsmakers of the day, from the Supreme Court justices and the governor to members of the Legislature and the people who run the state government departments, to lobbyists and public-interest organizations.



Then they also talk with “real people” — the individual citizens and businesses in communities to get their reactions to what’s happening in Lansing.



In addition to weekly news stories, CNS students write in-depth articles on issues facing state government and their impact on taxpayers.
%d bloggers like this: