Group files greivance with Governor Snyder regarding energy bills

HOUGHTON — With energy efficiency becoming a hot topic in the Upper Peninsula, a local organization has decided to file the grievances of the residents to the governor himself.

Recently, the Keweenaw Renewable Energy Coalition has sent an open letter to Governor Rick Snyder on behalf of homeowners and small business owners that live in the U.P.  The letter outlines all of the data that has been researched, which includes the repercussions of the recent decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, that says U.P. customers will now have to foot the bill for the Presque Isle Power Plant.

Coalition Treasurer Sam Lockwood said educating the public is the most important step in finding a solution.

“The 300,000-plus people in the U.P. representing 15 counties are facing, what we call, a crisis,” he said.  “If we have the second highest electric rates in the country, we should do something about that. But we found out that a lot of our own residents and business owners just didn’t look that closely at their bill.  And so the first thing we wanted to do was let the governor know look at what we pay verus what people downstate pay.”

Lockwood added the U.P. has many different forms of renewable energy that need to be tapped into so that energy rates are not so high.

“If you were going to solve this problem, you probably wouldn’t just pluck wind out an suggest that. But if we have the solar, wind, geothermal assets and the woody biomass assets, how can we solve these problems? How can we bring power to our customers reliably, but for a lot less money?” he said.

So far, the KREC has not heard back from the governor’s office.

The coalition will begin their Copper Country Winterization Program for people who want get their house prepared for the upcoming winter season starting Thursday.

For more information, head to the website