Wind power surpassed biomass as Michigan's primary renewable energy source in 2013. With more than 20 utility-scale wind farms, Michigan ranks 12th in electricity generated from wind. Michigan has abundant rivers and forests, which have encouraged significant investments in biomass and hydroelectric plants. Renewable energy investments are also driven by Michigan's renewable portfolio standard, which requires utilities to transition to renewable energy sources. Specifically, 15% of their electricity must come from solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, or other renewable sources by 2021.
Despite these advances in renewable energy, Michigan still produces about half of its electricity from coal. "The Great Lakes State" also has 3 nuclear power plants, which account for about a quarter of electricity production. Natural gas fuels most of the rest of electricity production in Michigan. Fracking has driven natural gas prices down, which has led to a 125% increase in electricity production from natural gas over the past 5 years.
Michigan Electricity Prices
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average retail price of electricity for Michigan residents in December 2016 was 15.28¢ per kWh, a whopping 3.07¢ above the average U.S. electricity price of 12.21¢ per kWh.
Residential electricity prices are on the rise in Michigan, having increased more than 56% over the past 10 years. This trend has led to higher electricity bills for Michigan residents, motivating many to switch to renewable energy (i.e. go solar) to save money.
Michigan Energy Mix
Net Electricity Generation By Source:
Source: Energy Information Administration, 2016
Michigan has more than doubled its electricity production from natural gas over the past 5 years. Over the same period, electricity production from coal has fallen over 31%.
Michigan Energy Sector Employment
According to the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census, the Michigan solar industry employs more than 4,118 people, up 48% from 2015. There are two main ways solar energy creates jobs in Michigan. Rooftop solar has exploded in popularity recently, and employs thousands of installers, engineers, sales people, etc. According to the Solar Energy Information Administration, there are also 83 solar cell Manufacturers in Michigan, creating hundreds of Michigan jobs. Wind power is also a big job creator in Michigan. The 2016 Clean Jobs Midwest Survey found that wind power employs 4,068 Michigan residents.
Fun fact: more Americans are employed by renewable energy than coal, oil, and gas combined, despite wind and solar energy only making up 5% of the total U.S. energy mix. According to a study from the University of California, Berkeley, solar energy creates over 7 times more jobs than coal or oil per MWh produced. The employment estimates for wind power differ from source to source, but most agree that it also produces more jobs than fossil fuels.
Michigan Utility Companies
The largest utility companies in Michigan are Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, and Indiana Michigan Power. Previously in Michigan, one utility company controlled the entire flow of electricity, from production to distribution. However, the Michigan energy market has since been “deregulated,” meaning that some elements of the service, such as electricity prices, can be set by other companies. This gives Michigan businesses and homeowners the power to choose their electricity supplier.
Your local utility is still responsible for distributing electricity to every home in your area. In return, they send you a monthly bill, which you must pay to keep the electricity flowing. By default, they also produce or purchase your electricity. However, Michigan’s deregulated energy market allows you to switch electricity suppliers to take advantage of lower electricity prices.
- Founded in 1886
- Headquartered in Jackson, MI
- Serves 1.8 million Michigan electric customers
- Incorporated in 1995
- Headquartered in Detroit, MI
- Serves 2.2 million Michigan electric customers
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M)
- Headquartered in For Wayne, IN
- Serves approximately 127,806 Michigan electric customers
- Subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP)
Arcadia's Michigan Renewable Energy Services
With Arcadia’s clean energy offerings, homeowners and renters across the state can now sign up to reduce their impact, be more energy efficient, and save on their energy bills while keeping their same utility company. Here are three programs currently available to Michigan residents:
As a Michigan utility customer, you can reduce your impact by matching your home’s electricity usage with renewable energy certificates from wind farms. You can sign up for our 50% Wind Energy plan for free, and begin service with your next utility bill. All you need is your local utility login to link up with Arcadia’s platform and start supporting wind farms each month at no extra cost to you.
We offer a community solar-savings program to homeowners and renters in Michigan. No matter where you live, you can subscribe to community solar projects across the country and start saving on your utility bill each month. There aren’t any installations, site visits, or equipment necessary, and if you move, your savings will even move with you.
Zero-down Energy Efficient Products
Our pay-as-you-save energy program enables Michigan utility customers to access energy efficient products for $0 down. We will offer LED light bulbs, Wiser Air Smart Thermostats, and other home energy products to help you be more efficient and save on your utility bills. As an Arcadia customer, you can simply pay for your efficient products over time using the energy savings you’ll start seeing each month.