Seventy percent of the electricity in our homes comes from burning fossil fuels, mainly coal. DTE Energy is the third dirtiest major utility in the country by CO2 emission rate, according to a 2019 report by M.J. Bradley & Associates. Continued reliance on DTE is unacceptable if we are to begin addressing the climate crisis locally. It’s also contrary to the city’s official decarbonization goals. Strategy one of the A2Zero Living Carbon Neutrality Plan is “Power our grid with 100% renewable energy” by 2030. There is no way to do this using DTE-supplied electricity. DTE plans to operate coal plants until 2040 and is building an 1,100 megawatt gas-fired power plant with an estimated useful life of 40 years. Renewables currently make up only 10 percent of DTE’s portfolio, even though they are now among the cheapest sources of electric generation.
Municipalization allows the city to purchase 100 percent renewable power from the regional grid, and to invest in community solar and other forms of local distributed generation. It is currently the city’s only legal pathway to 100% renewable power by 2030.