Constellation Energy and its parent company Exelon have voiced strong support for legislation (HB 5503) introduced by Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) to expand competitive energy markets in Michigan and immediately address the pent up demand of more than 7,000 customers to choose their electricity supplier.

David Fein, Exelon vice president of state government affairs, East, said the bill offers a measured, phased approach to expanding electric competition and provides welcome relief to consumers who pay dramatically higher energy bills in Michigan’s stifled energy marketplace.

“We believe this legislation will gradually restore much-needed competition to the state’s energy marketplace, give consumers equal opportunity to pay less for their energy, and put an end to Michigan’s distinction as the state with the highest energy rates in the Midwest,” Fein said.

Rep. Shirkey’s legislation would meet the demand for choice by eliminating the 10 percent cap on shopping for electric suppliers, allowing thousands of customers who are on a waiting list to benefit from Michigan’s competitive energy marketplace. This step would give about 19 percent of customers immediate access to competitive options in the Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison service territories. For each successive year, the legislation would allow up to an additional 6 percent of customers to shop.

“We know from the growth of customer choice nationwide that energy competition works. For the past three years, Michiganders forced to take service from monopoly utilities have shouldered significant rate increases while customers in competitive markets have been enjoying savings from the major drop in wholesale electric rates,” Fein said. “Constellation and Exelon heartily endorse this measure to expand electricity customer choice, lower consumer energy costs and help Michigan regain its competitive edge.”

Exelon’s Constellation business unit sells competitive energy products and services to business and residential customers in Michigan.