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

After a chilly start, 2014 is heating up Michigan’s energy efficiency industry. 


Happy New Year! All of us at MEECA hope you had a profitable 2013 and a restful Holiday Season.
Last year’s energy efficiency industry closed out with a rather ambitious goal being set by Governor Rick Snyder for energy efficiency, “Eliminate energy waste.” 
This is one of three goals set by Governor Snyder in his energy pillar of ‘Adaptability’.  The other two being: setting a range of goals extending to 2025 and reduce the use of coal and replace it with natural gas and renewables.  View all of his goals in all four pillars in this infographic.

As you will read below, Michigan is well on its way to reducing energy waste.
MEECA’s leaders are helping Michigan’s leaders better understand energy efficiency.  Read this month’s Member Highlight of Energy Savings Services. 
Data collected by MEECA shows rather robust economic impact of the State’s commercial and industry rebate programs in 2013.  Spoiler alert!!!  The numbers start with the letter ‘B’.  Read Michigan’s C&I Industry tops $1-BILLION.    
The utilities have launched the majority of their 2014 programs.  We will look more closely at DTE’s and Consumers Energy’s small business programs.  
Already this year, I have attended five (5) events focused on energy efficiency contractors.  One of them was Consumers Energy’s Excellence in Energy Efficiency Awards banquet where four (4) MEECA members received awards!   
I for one am eager to see that the Governor’s goal of eliminating energy waste is achieved.  MEECA is ready to help.   


Brindley Byrd
Executive Director 

MEECA Member Highlight:  Energy Saving Services

From HVAC to Home Performance, Brad Bartholomew is a leader.

In 1955, Russ Bartholomew, Sr. founded Bartholomew Heating & Cooling.  His son Russ, Jr. joined the ranks soon there after.  A third generation of Bartholomew’s now continues the family tradition of quality sales, service and installation.” Brothers Thad and Brad Bartholomew have assumed the reins of one of Kalamazoo’s most trusted names in residential heating and cooling service. 
Brad Bartholomew became a licensed heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) professional at the age of 20.  He has embraced the passion of his grandfather for the technical aspects of the mechanical trade and applying them to caring for the customer and their comfort needs. 
As the opportunities for serving the comfort and safety issues grew and became better understood, Brad began the process of becoming a certified home performance professional.  According to the Building Performance Institute (BPI), the nation’s leading home performance certifying organization, there are 701 BPI certified individuals in Michigan.  The BPI certification program contains seven (7) different core certifications.  Of the 701 individuals, Brad is one of only two people who have achieved four (4) different core certifications. This makes Brad one of the highest qualified home performance professionals in Michigan.  He founded Energy Saving Services in 2009 to provide home performance services throughout Southwest Michigan.
The passion instilled in him has carried Brad to assume leadership positions in both the Michigan Air-Conditioning Contractors Association (MIACCA) and the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA).  In true Bartholomew style, he will serve both of these organizations in 2014 as president.  Additionally, Brad looks to continue attending the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Energy Optimization Collaborative as one of only a few energy efficiency contractors participating in this energy efficiency policy think tank. This positions Brad to be one of the most influential people in establishing Michigan’s energy future. 
Click here to read more about Brad and his experience conducting a home energy audit for Representative Aric Nesbitt (R) – Van Buren County. 


Michigan’s C&I Programs Top $1-BILLION 

A simple request reveals a huge reality.  


While preparing for a keynote speech, Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) Chair John Quakenbush wanted more information about Michigan’s energy efficiency (EE) contractors.   MPSC staff made inquiry to MEECA staff asking if we had data that the Chairman could use.  The MPSC asked the first three questions.  These prompted the need for the fourth.
  1. The amount of money spent on energy efficiency projects?             
  2. The number of energy efficiency contractors in Michigan?
  3. The number of projects they worked on?
  4. The amount of incentives spent on energy efficiency projects through utility programs?
MEECA leveraged relationships and resources to gather and analyze reliable data from the four largest utility energy efficiency programs in the state and assembled some very interesting answers to these questions. 
The most impressive answer was the amount of money spent on EE projects revealing the huge economic impact the energy efficiency industry is having in Michigan.
Read full report here…

Two Programs Focus on Saving Energy for Michigan Small Businesses 

DTE Energy and Consumers Energy offer valuable tools for contractors. 

A raft of energy efficiency programs cover Michigan.  These programs can be divided into three main categories:  Residential, Commercial & Industrial and Low-Income.  Each of these then gets further refined to design offerings that will have the best chance of participation by ratepayers within each of those categories.  A specialized group of companies called implementation contractors are retained by utility programs to design and administer these programs.
One of Michigan’s largest implementation contractors holds the Commercial & Industrial program contracts for both DTE Energy and Consumers Energy.  DNV GL (formerly DNV Kema) is a global conglomerate whose core business services include maritime, oil & gas, energy, business assurance and software.  The Michigan staff of DNV GL have done a deep dive into small commercial users and created programs serving these harder to reach customers. 
Consumers Energy’s program is called the Small Business Solutions Program.
DTE Energy’s program is called the Energy Express Program.
Mark Allen, Head of Department - Central Region Programs for DNV GL heads up these programs. He views them as tools contractors can use to approach small commercial customers.  Allen states, “The doubling of incentives in these programs gives contractors a real value proposition when calling on small business customers.”
The Efficiency United C&I Program is currently developing a small business option for their portfolio of utilities. 
Small business owners who are electric customers of DTE or Consumers Energy  (gas customers are not eligible) would do well to take advantage of these custom incentive programs. When implemented, these programs will drop energy cost savings right to their bottom line.
Read more details here…


Consumers Energy Highlights Home Performance Contractors

Five MEECA members receive awards.

On Thursday, January 16, 2014 Consumers Energy hosted their 1St Annual Excellence in Energy Efficiency Awards Banquet held at the Ella Sharpe Museum in Jackson, MI.  For energy efficiency advocates, this was the place to be to hear and witness Michigan’s energy future as this night of the State of the State address.
John Quakenbush, Chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) gave the evening’s keynote address.  In his remarks highlighted aspects of the MPSC report on energy efficiency issued late last year.  That robust report includes information about the potential for future energy projects.  The Chairman stated, “Michigan has at least a ten year runway of efficiency projects.”  This report is what gave Governor Snyder the confidence to set 2025 as the end date for any efficiency targets the legislature might set. 
The Chairman also relayed information as to the number of energy efficiency contractors we have in Michigan.  He quoted the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association’s data that in the C&I sector, there are approximately 650 companies that submitted 9500 rebate applications totaling $58-million of incentives issued to $1.2-billion of total project spend. 
The evening was not all about policy. 

See who won here...

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For more information please contact Brindley Byrd at 517-203-9180  or
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