July 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the monthly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA). Continue reading to learn more about what's been happening in recent weeks.

Recap of MEECA's 3rd Annual Golf Outing

Image: MEECA members enjoying a fine summer day at Hawk Hollow Golf Course.

Eighty-four people participated in this year’s Summer Golf Outing on July 10th. For the third straight year, Hawk Hollow’s popular course provided the backdrop and the weather cooperated fully. Following the 18-hole scramble, the day ended with an awards reception in the clubhouse. Once again the annual fundraiser combined valuable networking with the chance to enjoy the Michigan summer in a beautiful setting. Pictures from this year’s Golf Outing are available at the MEECA website.  

 

Plenty of golfing skill was on display this year. In particular, we recognize the following competition winners:

  • 1st Place Team: Anis Saad, Bennie Brown, Kyle Rhodes, Paul Brown
  • 2nd Place Team: Michael Krygier, Ben Glendening, Alex Watkins, Joe Wadel
  • 3rd Place Team: Paul Brennan, Steve Kelly, Walt Dindoffer, Kevin Anderson
  • 13th Place Team: Travis Lalonde, Kory Elkins, Kaylan Meinecke, Jim Schwanitz
  • Women’s Longest Drive: Jennifer Alvarado
  • Men’s Longest Drive: Alex Watkins
  • Longest Putt: Pete Kiser
  • Closest-to-the-Pin: Sean Williams
  • Practice Putting Contest: Ben Glendening

 

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s event another great success! Once more, we gratefully acknowledge our generous sponsors. Joining 2019 Title Sponsor DNV GL were CLEAResult (Awards Reception Sponsor); SEEL (Golf Cart Sponsor); ICF (Lunch-on-the-Go Sponsor); Walker-Miller Energy Services (Beverage Cart Sponsor); DTE Energy (Men’s and Women’s Longest Drive Sponsorships); 5 Lakes Energy (Closest-to-the-Pin Contest Sponsor); Duro-Last, Inc. (Longest Putt Contest Sponsor); Development Solutions Midwest (Beat-the-Pro Contest Sponsor); Consumers Energy (Practice Putting Contest Sponsor); and Pure Eco, Behler-Young, and Team Financial Group (Single Hole Sponsors).

MEECA Announces Strategic Partnership with SBAM

This month MEECA officially launched a new partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). As a result, companies can now enjoy SBAM Premium membership benefits through their MEECA membership—at no additional cost.

 

As part of SBAM’s network of more than 26,000 companies, MEECA members now have direct access to a range of tools, resources and services designed to help small businesses in Michigan. These include but are not limited to:

  • SBAM-sponsored health insurance plans
  • Expert hotline for legal and HR issues
  • EIRSA compliance and COBRA administration services
  • Talent development training tools by Dale Carnegie
  • Discount tuition at Davenport University
  • IT services by NuWave Technology Partners
  • Merchant services through Bancard
  • Discounts for FedEx shipping and Office Depot
  • SBAM publications

 

MEECA is excited to make these SBAM benefits available to our members at no addition cost. This strategic partnership only adds to the existing value of a MEECA membership. MEECA members who have not been contacted by SBAM with detailed information about this program should contact David Gard at david@meeca.info or 517-896-2960. Or, approach him if you are interested in joining MEECA to take advantage of the SBAM partnership.

EE in the News

 

Holland Energy Fund Reaches Milestone

 

The Holland Energy Fund’s on-bill financing program for residential efficiency has extended its 100th loan to a homeowner in Holland, MI. The program began in 2016 and provides city residents low, fixed-interest loans for EE upgrades that are repaid through Holland Board of Public Works monthly electric bills. “With $1.5 million in loans, projects are averaging $15,000,” said Tim Vagle, president of Holland Energy Fund and city treasurer.

 

Tech-Savvy People More Interested in Saving Energy

 

Energy News Network reports on a new study showing that utility EE programs could find success by appealing to those interested in smart technology. That latest “Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation” survey from the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) found that customers who are active with their smart gadgets—such as smartphones, tables, and so forth—are more responsive to programs that save energy.

 

New Study Ranks Detroit and Grand Rapids on Energy Performance

 

The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) has issued a new report showing room for improvement on energy efficiency by Michigan’s two largest cities. The report also contains best practices for community-based energy savings. See the full story in the Detroit Metro Times

 

Detroit Adopts GHG Resolution

 

As recently reported, the Detroit City Council unanimously passed an ordinance this month to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 30 percent in the next five years. This would lower the city’s emissions to 7.4 million tons by 2025.

 

Hot enough for you? Utilities need to transform to address climate goals.

 

A recent blog by the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) underscores the central role energy efficiency can play in addressing the rise in extreme weather events and other factors linked to climate change. The entire piece can be found on the ACEEE website.

 

Public Policy Update

 

Energy Efficiency Expert to Join MPSC

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has appointed Tremaine Phillips to a six-year term to replace Commissioner Norm Saari on the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). Phillips’ term will start on September 9th and his appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the Michigan Senate.

 

Mr. Phillips is no stranger to the clean energy industry. He currently directs the Cincinnati 2030 District which aims to reduce emissions among participating members 50 percent by 2030 through energy efficiency and other strategies. He was an assistant deputy director in the former Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth.

 

MEECA congratulates Mr. Phillips on his appointment and looks forward to introducing him to our members this fall.

 

Gov. Whitmer Appoints MEECA Members to State Code Commission

 

MEECA was recently approached for help in identifying contractors to serve on the State Construction Code Commission. This led to the appointment of two MEECA members—Brad Bartholomew (Bartholomew Heating & Cooling, Inc.) and Mark Lee (Better World Builders)—to terms expiring January 31, 2023. The Commission was created to improve the quality of housing for Michigan residents while assisting the housing industry. Congratulations to Mark and Brad! We appreciate their efforts to represent Michigan’s EE industry in this important forum.

 

Policy Alert: Ohio Legislature Guts EE Programs

 

The Ohio General Assembly passed and Gov. DeWine has signed H.B. 6 which will effectively end utility-run energy efficiency in Ohio after 2020. The law prohibits utilities from receiving cost recovery for EE programs once a combined 17.5 percent energy savings is reached. Why does this matter for Michigan’s EE industry? Because there are strong interests working hard to expand these types of harmful policies to other states. This reality makes MEECA’s ongoing work to represent our members in Lansing all the more critical.  

 

Residential AC and heat pump efficiency to rise in 2023

 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), all new residential central air conditioning and air-source heat pump systems sold in the U.S. must meet new minimum energy efficiency standards beginning in 2023.

 

Bipartisan federal legislation targets building codes

 

A group of U.S. Senators from both major parties recently introduced a bill to strengthen national model building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more efficient. Among other provisions, it would also create a commercial building energy efficiency financing initiative. Read the article by Utility Dive.

 

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Michigan C&I Energy Conference

Upper Peninsula Educational Series

FREE for utility customers, contractors and trade allies, utility representatives, students and faculty.

Join like-minded industry experts, contractors and business professionals for a series of half-day sessions and panels covering new technologies, programs and incentives to help save energy and cost. Registration includes two session topics, plus Energy Efficiency 101 accelerated session; tabletop discussions; and breakfast and lunch. Select your date(s) and locations(s) from the following list:

  • Tuesday, July 30th in Iron Mountain—Topics: Geothermal heating and cooling; Financing
  • Wednesday, July 31st in Houghton—Topics: Geothermal H&C; Advanced lighting controls
  • Thursday, August 1st in Marquette—Topics: Boiler optimization; Small/medium business panel
  • Friday, August 2nd in St. Ignace—Topics: Operational savings; Small/medium business panel

 

Nomination Deadline: Midwest Energy News “40 under 40” awards program

This program highlights emerging leaders throughout the region helping to accelerate America’s transition to a clean energy economy. Self-nominations are welcome.

5:00PM CT, Friday, August 2, 2019

 

Michigan Energy Code Trainings—5 Locations

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is sponsoring a series of trainings on the current Commercial Michigan Energy Code which is based on the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013. Those who complete the training are eligible to receive 3 BCC and 3 BOMI Continuing Education Credits. For more information or questions please contact Jake Wilkinson at wilkinsonj8@michigan.gov. There is no cost to attend these sessions but you must register for one of the following dates and locations:

  • August 5, 2019 in Baraga, MI
  • August 7, 2019 in Alpena, MI
  • August 8, 2019 in Bay City, MI
  • August 12, 2019 in Benton Harbor, MI
  • August 13, 2019 in Muskegon, MI

 

Veterans Advanced Energy Summit

August 13, 2019

Chicago, IL

 

Small Manufacturers Energy Waste Reduction Incentive Pilot (SMEWRIP)

The Michigan Energy Office is offering rebates to eligible manufacturing facilities in Michigan to implement energy waste reduction activities. Proposed activities must be directed at achieving on-site energy savings at a company’s manufacturing facility, provide a minimum one-to-one match, and involve no equipment costing $5,000 or more. Awards up to $15,000.

Deadline: August 30, 2019

 

Detroit Commercial Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Conference

Rregistration website coming soon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

 

Chicago Build Expo

September 19-20, 2019

 

NZ19: The World’s Largest Net Zero Building Conference & Expo

October 2-4, 2019

Los Angeles, CA

 

USGBC—Detroit’s 3rd Annual Sustainable Detroit Forum

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

WSU Student Center

 

Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference

Hotel accommodations and conference agenda are coming soon. Contact Nicole Westfall at nwestfall@mwalliance.org for more information.

November 13-14, 2019

Omaha, NE

 

ACEEE Conference on Health, Environment, and Energy

January 21-23, 2020

New Orleans, LA

Other Program Announcements

Consumers Energy Announces Updated ZNE Program. Consumers Energy has just released the Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Companion Program, an update to its existing ZNE Pilot Program. The ZNE Companion Program retains the original 5-phase integrated design, but with new minimum energy reduction requirements, modified incentive structure, and a new requirement that enrolled projects pursue all-electric design. A ZNE deliverable guidebook has been developed as a reference for project teams. The ZNE Companion Program features an incentive of $1.50 per square foot.

 

The existing multi-year ZNE Pilot Program includes eleven new and existing building projects that reflect various commercial building types and sizes. So far, eight projects have completed preliminary and advanced design with an average projected savings of about 40 percent. The award-winning program has already paid out incentives of nearly $350,000.

 

To learn more about Consumers Energy’s Zero Net Energy Companion Program, visit their website.

 

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Loans for Michigan Business. The Michigan Energy Office is offering small businesses, currently located in Michigan, loans for qualified energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects. $1.5 million in load funds are available for eligible projects. Loan requests should be between $50,000-$350,000, and limited to supplies, materials and equipment costs only. This solicitation is open until all available funds are exhausted. Applications for funding will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Lighting Technology Energy Solutions (LiTES). This program aims to reduce the energy footprint in small and medium commercial buildings by accelerating the adoption of advanced lighting controls solutions through training and technology deployment. The goal is to have 100 contractors/installers trained, and 100 advanced lighting technology demonstrations deployed in Michigan by 2019. For more information, contact Eric McDonald with NextEnergy at 313-833-0100 or ericm@nextenergy.org

 

Grants to Study Michigan CHP. The Michigan Energy Office, now part of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, has a new $50,000 matching grant opportunity for studies to access the feasibility of installing combined heat and power (CHP) projects in Michigan.

 

Consumers Energy Announces Incentives for EV Charging Stations. Consumers Energy has just launched PowerMIDrive, a multi-year program to advance Michigan’s electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. The MPSC approved $10 million over three years to support this effort. In brief, rebates are available as follows:

  • Residential—between $400 and $500 to EV owners who install eligible 240-volt chargers
  • Public—up to $5,000/charger for 200 Level 2 chargers in public locations and workplaces
  • Fast Chargers—up to $70,000 for 24 DC fast chargers along highways and other travel routes