LANSING, Mich., June 22, 2023 — State Reps. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette) and Donavan McKinney (D-Detroit) have introduced a two-bill package to help more Michiganders, especially low-income residents, install battery storage systems and solar power systems at their homes and businesses. The bills would encourage widespread adoption of these technologies as a means of bolstering grid resilience, reducing power plant pollution and lowering energy costs.

“An in-home battery paired with solar can keep vital medical equipment or refrigerators full of food running for days, protecting households during outages cause by extreme weather,” Hill said. “As an additional benefit, behind-the-meter storage systems can provide excess power back to the grid during periods of peak energy demand. That will decrease our reliance on diesel-powered “peaker plants,” which emit harmful pollution in historically disadvantaged communities. Our legislation would help families make the initial investment in this valuable technology.”

Hill’s bill, H.B. 4839, would require the Michigan Public Service Commission to develop a system of rules to enable customer solar and battery storage systems to support the grid, providing benefits similar to power plants, such as load reduction, demand response and voltage support. McKinney’s bill, H.B. 4840, would establish a rebate to customers of $500 per kilowatt for a new solar system and $300 per kilowatt-hour for a new battery storage system, which would be doubled for low- and middle-income customers.

“These bills will help build a more equitable and just Michigan while also making our state greener,” McKinney said. “In recent years, my district has been heavily impacted by power outages due to wind, ice and other causes, which have hindered many residents’ access to power. This legislation mitigates against those negative consequences. It also ensures that low-income areas receive opportunities to access alternative energy.”