4 Ways to Weigh in on Ann Arbor’s Renewable Energy Future

ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor officials have high hopes that renewable energy will supply 100% of the community’s electricity by 2030, and one piece of the puzzle is the creation of an energy utility city-owned sustainable to help fund solar installations for homes and businesses across the city.

The city is now seeking public comment on this idea – creating a municipal electric utility known as SEU to complement the service that DTE Energy provides to the community.

There are four ways for community members to participate, including an online poll open through June 30 that seeks to weigh public interest in the SEU.

“The envisioned Ann Arbor SEU would be a community-owned utility that would provide 100% clean, reliable, locally built, and affordable electricity; built by the community, for the community,” Missy Stults, the city’s director of sustainability, said in a statement, saying it would give community members the choice to source energy that most don’t. have not today.

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City staff will also discuss the SEU concept, gather feedback and answer questions in two upcoming webinars. Register here to attend at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 29 or here for 6 p.m. on May 4.

Anyone wishing to get more information or share their thoughts with city staff via email can message the city’s office of sustainability at sustainable@a2gov.org.

The city also has a project website at www.a2gov.org/a2seu with a 10-minute video providing a high-level overview of the proposed SEU and the services it could provide, including:

  • Improved energy reliability through the installation of solar and energy storage systems on homes and businesses.
  • Robust energy waste reduction (efficiency) programs that save residents money while improving comfort, safety and health.
  • Financing tools such as invoice financing to help reduce upfront costs and increase flexibility in paying for upgrades.
  • Support for the transition from gas appliances to electricity and training of the associated workforce.
  • Micro-grids between neighboring households, where solar and battery storage systems are shared.
  • Community solar programs that provide residents with the benefits of solar energy installed in shared areas of the city.
  • Energy justice initiatives to ensure that all members of the community benefit from clean energy.

City Council voted in January to direct staff to begin developing plans to study the feasibility of creating a traditional municipal electric utility to replace DTE as the local energy supplier and, as an alternative to a takeover of the DTE power grid in the city, explore Model SEUs to complement DTE service. City administrator Milton Dohoney proposed last week to spend $250,000 over the next fiscal year on feasibility studies and rate analysis. The budget now awaits council approval in May.


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