February 2020 Newsletter
Monthly news and updates from the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA).
MPSC Releases Annual Report on EWR Programs
Each year the MPSC assesses the performance of Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) programs. According to its latest report, “Michigan utility providers have consistently reached their annual required EWR targets, and in most cases continue to exceed the statutory requirement. Providers met a combined average of 153% of their electric energy savings targets and 144% of their natural gas energy savings targets.”
Translated into ratepayer benefits in 2018, “aggregate EWR program expenditures of $332 million by all the natural gas and electric utilities in the state were estimated to result in lifecycle savings to customers of $1.074 billion. For every dollar spent on EWR programs in 2018, customers should realize benefits of $3.18.” The full report can be found HERE.
This news comes as the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released the second edition of its Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard which compares the 52 largest U.S. electric utilities across a range of energy efficiency metrics. Click to see how Michigan utilities match up.
Consumers Energy Commits to Net Zero Carbon by 2040
As Michigan Radio reports, Consumers Energy has set a goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040, the first such commitment by a major U.S. electric utility. Several other utilities including DTE Energy have set a goal of reaching net zero by 2050. Acknowledging the challenge, CEO Patti Poppe said, “ Every great achievement has started with a goal. Somebody stating something that isn’t true today will be true in the future.” In practical terms, significant energy savings across all sectors will be central to reaching this amibitious goal.
Read more about this story at the Michigan Radio website.
NextEnergy's LiTES Webinar
Early this month, NextEnergy in partnership with Consumers Energy and DTE hosted a webinar to share key findings from the U.S. DOE-funded Lighting Technology Energy Solutions (LiTES) Program. In case you missed it, be sure to check out the webinar recording and download the webinar slides.
Dunamis Clean Energy Partners is a MBE/WBE certified full service OEM lighting manufacturer and green energy consulting company. We specialize in creating energy cost savings for our customers in the utility, manufacturing, government, healthcare, industrial, educational and facility management industries, using LED and renewable energy technology.
Cedric Kennedy Joins MEECA Board
This month we welcome to the board of directors Cedric Kenndy, head of business development at Amatis Controls where he is responsible for driving growth opportunities in the Midwest.
Cedric has a degree in Business Management and Psychology from Michigan Technological University and is committed to energy-reducing technologies that will support Michigan's energy reduction and sustainability goals.
Public Policy Update
Whitmer Proposes More Funding for Energy Savings
In her proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for an additional $5 million for MEECA member Michigan Saves to build on its previous success in helping to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the state. Michigan Saves has financed more than $230 million in projects since 2009 and is aiming to reach $1 billion by 2023. Also in Whitmer’s budget is $5 million for a “green revolving fund” that would “allow for the re-investment of funds generated from long-term cost savings in new projects and establish a long-term program focused on reducing the state’s carbon footprint.” See the related story in MiBiz.
MPSC Calls for Higher EWR Targets in IRP Cases
Michigan electric utility companies are legally required to file 5-year Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) that explain how they will meet future demand through a blend of supply and demand-side resource options. Recently the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) issued the following rulings in IRP cases:
- Settlement agreements were approved for Upper Peninsula Power Co. (UPPCO) and Northern States power Co. of Wisconsin (NSP). UPPCO will remove plans for a new natural gas-fired power plant from its IRP until further analysis is performed. It will also increase its EWR target to 1.65% in 2020 and 1.75% in 2021, up from 1.5%;
- NSP will increase its EWR target to 1.5% by 2021 and continue to examine demand response as a resource for its customers;
- MPSC has called for DTE Energy to make “substantial changes” in a revised IRP proposal to be submitted by March 21, 2020. MPSC recommended more ambitious EWR targets of 1.75% in 2020 and 2% in 2021, up from the 1.65% and 1.75% that were initially proposed by the utility.
MI Power Grid Energy Programs and Technology Pilots Workgroup
This week MEECA attended the kick-off meeting of the MI Power Grid workgroup that will focus on program and technology pilots. MI Power Grid is a focused, multi-year stakeholder initiative supported by Governor Whitmer and the MPSC to maximize the benefits of the transition to clean, distributed energy resources for Michigan residents and businesses. The new Energy Programs and Technology Pilots Workgroup will look at best practices in other states and propose criteria for evaluating utility pilot projects going forward.
MEECA members with questions or ideas about energy efficiency pilot programs can contact David Gard at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn about other ongoing stakeholder discussions focused on energy efficiency in Michigan, visit these MPSC websites:
Don't Miss the 6th Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration!
There are still a few seats available for this year's annual event on March 12th.
Tickets (and sponsorships!) can be purchased by visiting the event website.
Upcoming Events & Deadlines
March 9-11, 2020
Consumers Energy Business EE Programs: Trade Ally and Contractor Orientations
- Novi on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
- Gaylord on Thursday, May 7, 2020
- Grand Rapids on Thursday, August 6, 2020
- Okemos on Wednesday, October 28, 2020
March 12, 2020
East Lansing, MI
Building Operator Certification: Hosted by Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, BWL, and EGLE.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through June 10, 2020
Note: Sales end March 6th
Grand Rapids, MI
This event will bring together both residential and commercial stakeholders around the design, development, and construction of increasingly popular net zero buildings.
March 24-25, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Thursday, March 26, 2020
Behler-Young facility in Flint, MI (training provided by MIACCA)
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 15, 2020
SPARK Headquarters, Ann Arbor, MI
Tour Michigan’s first mass timber building, learn more about this emerging building method. Summit Agenda.
April 20-21, 2020
MSU Huntington Club, East Lansing, MI
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 21, 2020
JW Marriott, Grand Rapids
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
MSU Kellogg Center, East Lansing, MI
April 27-30, 2020
New Orleans, LA
Save-the-Date: 2020 Michigan C&I Energy Conference
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Battle Creek, MI
Hosted by DTE Energy and The Engineering Society of Detroit
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI
May 17-19, 2020
Traverse City, MI
Building Operator Certification: Hosted by Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, BWL, and EGLE.
July 8, 2020 through September, 2020
The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Building Technologies Office (BTO), a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled “Connected Communities.” The goal of this planned FOA would be to demonstrate the ability of efficient buildings to interact with the grid to provide demand flexibility. This includes the ability to shift and modulate load in both existing and new communities across diverse climates, geography, building types and grid/regulatory structures, while maintaining (if not enhancing) occupant satisfaction and productivity. Link to the full notice HERE.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is seeking applications for its Rural Energy for America Program, which makes load guarantees and grants available for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, energy audits and more. The next deadline to apply for these grants is March 31, 2020, while applications for load guarantees are accepted year-round. For more information, contact Jake Wilkinson at WilkinsonJ8@Michigan.gov.
The State of Michigan’s Small Manufacturers Energy Waste Reduction Incentive Pilot is offering rebates up to $15,000 per company for small manufacturers that can implement energy efficiency activities until July 31, 2020. This is a 100 percent minimum match requirement. For more information, contact Jake Wilkinson at WilkinsonJ8@Michigan.gov.
The Michigan Energy Office is coordinating loans to Michigan-based small businesses for qualified energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects.