The MEECA Maven:  News and updates on Michigan's energy efficiency industry. December 2013
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From Me to You...

A few words about the past few days and the year to come.


Just like the ocean, Michigan's energy efficiency industry ebbs and flows.  Sometimes things are calm and quite showing little signs of change.  Other times you can see massive waves shaping the landscape right before your very eyes.  These past few days I'm sure glad I had my surfboard as there were some great waves to ride.

I was honored to attend four events on behalf of MEECA members.  Below you will read more about each:  the Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, Consumers Energy Business Solutions 2014 Kickoff, the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association Annual Meeting and Michigan Saves Avoid Energy Drama PSA debut.

As I look back at each and then as parts of a bigger whole, I see the shaping of Michigan's energy efficiency landscape that bodes well for contractors, their customers and for other stakeholders in Michigan's energy industry.  

The next year looks to be a benchmark year for energy efficiency.  It will set that stage for the next decade in Michigan's energy future.  MEECA is ideally positioned to be the voice of Michigan's energy efficiency contractors. 

Feel free to contact me regarding these events or other information on Michigan's energy efficiency industry. 

Be sure to have an Efficient and Happy Holiday!!

Sincerely,

Brindley Byrd
Executive Director
brindley@meeca.info 
517-203-9180
 

MI SSL Industry is LEDing the Way

The solid state lighting industry gathers to learn and share. 

On Tuesday, December 3rd, manufacturers, contractors, distributors, utility programs, financing programs, Kryo and others gathered at the Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference held at the Electrical Industry Training Center in Warren, MI.  

NextEnergy was the lead organizer of this event held in conjunction with the Michigan Solid State Lighting Association Symposium.  The Green Team Coalition and Michigan Public Service Commission also supported the conference.  Main sponsors included DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, the National Electrical Contractors Association and Efficiency United. 

 Click here to read what contractors should know... 

   

Consumers Energy Launches 2014 Business Program

The more things change.  The more they stay the same. 


Consumers Energy (CE)  launched its 2014 Business Solutions Program at two trade ally breakfasts and award ceremonies during the week of December 1st, 2013.  The first was held in Grand Rapids to target its electric users. The second in Grand Blanc to capture the east side crowd.  

Members of the the Business Solutions team where on hand to give out awards to the top performing contractors for 2013 and to quickly walk through some of the many changes in the 2014 program.  There are two notable changes from last year's program worth mentioning.  

First, the amount of gas rebates have essentially been cut in half.  This decision is to help provide some predictability to the program better positioning it to run the entire year.  

Second, is a list of Agriculture specific measures that are now supported by Consumers Energy.  This change better highlights the differences between these and other building types traditionally included in efficiency programs.  

Members of other CE energy efficiency teams were also on hand.  One to mention specifically is the Small Business Program.  This program has a separate trade ally participation agreement from the standard commercial program.  Click here to download that application.

The one thing that stays the same in the 2014 is that with around 350 different measures, the Consumers Energy Business Solutions Program offers great opportunities for Michigan's energy efficiency contractors to provide energy savings solutions for Consumers Energy's commercial customers. 

Download the CE Business Solutions trade ally application, catalog and rebate application below:

2014 Program Catalog
2014 Incentive Application 
Trade Ally Application

GLREA Closes Out 2013.  Sets up 2014.

Awards, reports, change, policy and tradition. 

MEECA has relationships with several other stakeholder groups in Michigan's energy future.  One of our strongest is with the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA).  This dynamic group has had an exciting 2013 and that looks to continue well beyond 2014. 

The GLREA hosted their 2013 Annual Meeting on Saturday, December 7th at Grand Rapids Community College.  With an action packed agenda, the GLREA president, Todd O'Grady started the event off with recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance -- a very fitting moment on this day of infamy.  

Awards were presented to leaders in Michigan's renewable energy industry with former Michigan Environmental Council's Energy Director, David Gard receiving a GLREA Appreciation Award. 

Reports on finances and the 2014 Michigan Energy Fair were made.  Be sure to sign up for the MEF being  held on June 26 & 27 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds at www.glrea.org.  

Change took the form of a new members being elected to the board of directors and the new GLREA executive director, Delmar Bachert being introduced.  Kudos to John Sarver, former executive director and newest board member for righting this association and setting it on a course for continued success.  

Policy was best expressed by the keynote address given by John Quakenbush, Chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission.  Mr. Quakenbush walked the audience through the past year's Ensuring Michigan's Future energy discussions.  His comments on energy efficiency struck a harmonious chord as heard by MEECA's ears.

He indicated that the MPSC report on energy efficiency provided evidence that Michigan has, "...a runway of at least 10-years of projects."  He indicated that using the Achievable Potential calculations made in the report, Michigan could easily achieve a run rate of 1.75% annual savings over a ten-year period.  This position is in line with the recommendations made by MEECA as to future energy efficiency goals to expand the current savings goals.

As the MPSC report defines, the Achievable Potential calculations rely on an increase in funding for the programs.  Mr. Quakenbush may have tipped his hat supporting an increase in the spending caps currently throttling Michigan's energy efficiency programs.   

He made no mention of the Governor's impending recommendations from the four MPSC energy reports. He did forecast that the energy conversations that began over a year ago will continue through 2014 with legislation potentially being introduced in early 2015 -- after the 2014 elections.  

Tradition was held up with the opening of the bar.  Long standing GLREA members reminisced from the first annual meeting where this tradition started.  As most association annual meetings are less than exciting, lubricating conversations with libations is sometimes a good idea.  

Considering Mr. Quackenbush's comments, let's hope that bar stays open for a long while.   Cheers!!

Michigan Saves Defines the Moment in Michigan's EE Industry

The Energy Saver vs. Energy Waster 

Mary Templeton, Executive Director of Michigan Saves proudly announced that,  “We are at a defining moment in Michigan’s energy efficiency industry,” when she kicked off the Michigan Saves Avoid the Drama of Wasted Energy public service announcement (PSA) campaign debut.
 
Billed to, “Wake up Michigan residents to their energy problems,” Michigan Saves launched their Energy Saver vs. Energy Waster campaign.   A debut of the four TV commercials for this campaign was held on December 9, 2013 at The Fillmore Detroit.
 
Funded in partnership with The Dow Chemical Company, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy and Michigan Saves. Shelton Group, one of the country’s foremost energy marketing firms, out of Tennessee is the creative force behind the PSA campaign that pits a well intentioned, but energy-wasting husband against a conscientious and energy-saving wife. 
 
The commercials depict a winter scene and a summer scene.  In each, the couple begins discussing what’s happening which then escalates into an argument.   Suddenly, DING! A bell rings like you’d hear in a boxing match.   A microphone drops from the ceiling and a booming-voiced announcer wearing a tuxedo appears and announces the fight.  He then steps to the camera and begins offering better solutions to their drama and refers the audience to a website.  

Read more here...

To join MEECA please complete our Membership Application.

For more information please contact Brindley Byrd at 517-203-9180  or brindley@meeca.info.
 
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