Rep. Reilly: Help schools save money through choice in electricity market

Schools and colleges across Michigan would save money on their electricity bills through legislation introduced today by state Rep. John Reilly of Oakland.

Reilly’s bill would allow K-12 schools, universities, colleges and community colleges – public and private – to buy electricity from any provider they choose. The goal is to help educational institutions save money on what is often their second-highest cost of doing business, behind only personnel.

Currently, many educational institutions do not have the option to capitalize on potential savings through alternative providers because Michigan law caps access to alternative energy suppliers at 10 percent of the market, and the cap has been reached.

“We need to end the unreasonable prohibition on schools buying electricity from alternative suppliers,” Reilly said after introducing his legislation. “It can only lead to more savings for more schools than under current law.”

Reilly noted that some Michigan schools already are saving money because they were able to get into the choice market before the cap was reached.

According to a 2015 press release from the Michigan Association of School Boards, the 325 school districts participating in the Michigan Schools Energy Cooperative saved a total of $14.7 million on their electric bills in the previous year.

“It’s common sense that other schools should have the same opportunity to save money,” Reilly said.

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