February 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the monthly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA). Read on to find out what's happening.
MEECA's 4th Annual Gala & Awards Ceremony Next Week!
Thanks to everyone who has registered for MEECA's 2018 Annual Gala next Tuesday, March 6th. Once again, expect plenty of time for networking at the Gala. This year we are excited to kick off the dinner program with an expert panel discussion. The panel will feature senior staff from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) examining the role of energy efficiency as a resource in Michigan’s energy future. And our awards ceremony will recognize superior performance during the past year.
MEECA Featured at Midwest EE Conference in Chicago
MEECA gained regional attention at the 2018 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference in Chicago earlier this month. This annual event in Chicago was hosted by MEECA member Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA). MEECA executive director David Gard was invited to present at the opening panel dubbed Good EE Policy for Economic Growth. He described MEECA’s role of bringing the voice of contractors to public policy decisions in Lansing. Gard learned that as a contractor-led advocacy group, MEECA is unique. “People definitely got our value proposition,” he said. They were asking me, ‘How can we organize something like that back in our state?’”
A highlight of the conference was the 2018 Inspiring Efficiency Awards. This year Michigan claimed both award winners for the category Inspiring Leadership in Energy Efficiency: Gov. Rick Snyder and Louis James, president and CEO of MEECA member Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL).
Louis James of SEEL, LLC receiving the 2018 Inspiring Leadership in Energy Efficiency award.
Nearly 700 people attended this year’s MES conference. Among them were other MEECA members Walker-Miller Energy Services, WECC, Energy Sciences, DNV-GL, CLEAResult, ICF, Franklin Energy, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Michigan Energy Options, and Michigan Saves.
Energy Efficiency in the News
MPSC Releases Energy Savings Report for 2016
This month the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) published its annual Utility Energy Waste Reduction Programs report. It showed continued customer benefits from these cost-effective programs. Michigan utility companies met a combined average of 128 percent of their electric energy savings targets and 125 percent of their natural gas energy savings targets in 2016. The amount of energy reduction was nearly 1.2 million megawatt-hours of electricity and more than 5.24 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
The report states that energy efficiency resources in 2016 cost $16.07/megawatt-hour compared to $55/megawatt-hour, the cost of sourcing the same amount of electricity from a new natural gas combined cycle plant. And every $1.00 spent on EWR programs delivered $4.29 in savings.
The efficiency report must be submitted to the Michigan Legislature annually by February 15th. To read the MPSC news release and view the actual report, click here.
Consumers Energy Announces New Goal to Slash Carbon Emissions, Eliminate Coal by 2040
According to CEO Patti Poppe, by 2040 Consumers Energy will reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent, end its use of coal-fired generation, and supply more then 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and storage. The state’s largest utility company also announced new 5-year environmental goals for Michigan water, waste, and land. Poppe said, “Our actions speak louder than words and we have a track record of doing more than is required. Our actions to date have reduced our carbon intensity by 38 percent, reduced our water usage by 35 percent and avoided over one million cubic yards of landfill disposal.”
Consumers Energy’s strategic roadmap for reaching its clean energy goal by 2040 will be published later this year and is expected to include plans for additional energy reduction. To learn more, read the company's recent press release.
Energy Efficiency Policy Updates
New Leadership at the Michigan Agency for Energy
Gov. Rick Synder has appointed Anne Armstrong Cusack to serve as Acting Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) following the departure of Valerie Brader. Armstrong previously served as associate director of the Office of Urban Initiatives. As community liaison in West and Southwest Michigan, she facilitated increased access to transportation and affordable housing, and worked on environmental initiatives, economic development, and improving relationships between various communities and local law enforcement.
Cusack also chaired the Michigan Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity, worked at the Michigan Department of Community Health and at Voluntary Hospitals of America, and served as a policy advisor to former Gov. John Engler.
To learn more about Director Cusack, see the Governor’s announcement.
Federal Clean Energy Tax Credits Reinstated
Earlier this month President Trump signed legislation that extends tax credits for residential and commercial installations of geothermal heat pumps and other renewable energy technologies. Specifically, the new law:
- Reinstates the residential income tax credit at 30% of installed cost, dropping to 26% in 2020, then to 22% for 2021, before ending on December 31, 2021.
- Extends the 10% commercial investment tax credit until January 1, 2022, and changes the language for placed in service to “property the construction of which begins before January 1, 2022.”
- Makes both residential and commercial tax credits retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017.
In addition, EPAct 179D was retroactively extended to include projects completed in 2017. Therefore, any commercial or government building completed in 2017 is eligible for a tax incentive of up to $1.80 per square foot if it uses qualifying clean energy technologies. More information about EPAct 179D tax credits can be found at the Energy Tax Savers website.
Tuesday, March 6th, 5:30-9:00pm
MSU Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI
2018 nomination applications due Saturday, March 31st
Registration period ends Saturday, March 31st
Hosted by Efficiency United
Wednesday, April 4, 2018, Upper Peninsula, Island Resort & Casino
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, Lower Peninsula, FireKeepers Casino Hotel
Tuesday, April 24th, 6:00-10:00pm and Wednesday, April 25th, 8:00am-1:00pm
Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, MI
Monday, April 30th
Hosted by DTE Energy and The Engineering Society of Detroit
Tuesday, May 8,
Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI