Residents with solar panels protest Michigan energy measure

Associated Press

Advocates of installing solar panels on rooftops are protesting state legislation they fear would make it harder for residents to reduce utility bills with renewable energy.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Advocates of installing solar panels on rooftops are protesting state legislation they fear would make it harder for residents to reduce utility bills with their own renewable energy sources.

Dozens of people are expected to rally Wednesday at the Capitol. It's the same day a Senate committee considers a bill that includes utility-backed changes to Michigan's "net metering" program.

More than 1,800 customers participated last year by installing their own solar panels or wind turbines.

Critics say proposed changes would make it harder for residents to see a payback on generating their own electricity.

Utilities say rooftop solar generation costs are nearly twice as high as utility-scale installations.

The net metering fight is part of a broader rewrite of Michigan's energy law expected to heat up in Lansing this fall.

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