DTE Energy CEO Jerry Norcia introduced the idea of income-based energy bills to a panel of Michigan lawmakers last week.
Speaking to the House Energy Committee on Wednesday, Norcia explained his ideas for making energy bills more “fairly priced” for low-income households.
“So we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this is that if we can make bills more affordable for low-income customers and tie it somehow to their percentage of income if you will, that could go a long way to, I would say, fundamentally resolving this issue in the state of Michigan.”
Pointing out that those with lower incomes typically live in housing that is the least energy-efficient, Norcia added, “I think if we can tie energy assistance to how much people make I think it could be a really fundamental opportunity for us to change the future of our customers, low income customers in this state [toward] continued energy efficiency.”
“How do we move together and bring all the resources available, both federally, state, and from the utilities who have energy efficiency funding, to drive at the root cause, which is helping loan customers consume less energy?”
Just last year, California passed a law to create a fixed charge for houshold electric bills based on their income. This bill could take effect as soon as 2025.
Based on proposals for the bill, California residents who make more than $180,000 a year could pay about $500 more on their electricity bills per year, and those who make under $28,000 could save up to $300 a year.
In addition to trying to push this socialist agenda on the state of Michigan, Norcia also highlighted the need for reliable nuclear and natural gas, saying that wind and solar power can be unreliable.
“Now, solar and wind are fabulous resources, but sometimes you can’t count on it when you need it” said Norcia.
“The first thing that we worry about is reliability,” Norcia continued. “We don’t want to destabalize the grid, right? We’ve seen it happen in other jurisdictions, you know, we’ve seen it happen in California and other states. We’ve seen it happen there in a fundamental way.”
“And so we pay very careful attention that as we retire coal plants, we’re replacing it with assets that can be called on when you need them. So, for example, natural gas assets are there when you need them. Nuclear assets are there when you need them.”