June 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the monthly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA). Continue reading to learn more about what's been happening.
Annual Golf Outing Just 3 Weeks Away!
MEECA's 2nd Annual Golf Outing on Wednesday, July 18th is just around the corner. Last summer’s inaugural event attracted 76 golfers and was judged a huge success. With less than three weeks to go, nearly 100 people have already registered for this year’s outing. A limited number of foursomes and individual spots are still available for purchase at the event website.
The Golf Outing—made possible by this year’s “Double Eagle” Title Sponsor DNV GL—returns to Hawk Hollow Championship Golf Course in Bath, MI. The event will give MEECA members and other industry professionals a relaxing opportunity to reconnect and build relationships. Of course, it also brings the fun and challenge of playing one of Michigan’s great courses.
Everyone from seasoned players to first-time golfers are welcome to participate in the 18-hole scramble. Networking will continue with an afternoon reception featuring prizes for longest drive, longest putt, closest-to-the pin, and other contests. The winning foursome will receive four complementary rounds of golf with a cart at Hawk Hollow.
A limited number of registrations and sponsorships are still available. Visit the event website for more information or contact David Gard at email@example.com.
Joining DNV GL as this year’s sponsors are ICF, CLEAResult, SEEL, 5 Lakes Energy, DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, Development Solutions Midwest, Team Financial Group, Duro-Last, Behler-Young, Pure Eco, Johnstone Supply (Eastern Michigan Group), Spark Building Energy Solutions, and Newman Consulting.
EE in the News
Finalists Announced for 2018 Annual Governor's Energy Excellence Awards
MEECA members are once again among the list of finalists for the 2018 Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards. The list includes twenty-one businesses, organizations, and individuals from across the industry that are being recognized for demonstrating innovative and meaningful actions to save energy. Congratulations to the following MEECA member nominees:
Best Residential Project
- Nancy Choura (work performed by Better World Builders)
Best Projects — Commercial (Private)
- IBEW Local 58, Detroit (work performed by Development Solutions Midwest, The Nielsen Group, Energy Sciences and others)
Contractor of the Year
Innovator of the Year
- Kenneth Randazzo, DTE Energy
Nominations were made in eight different categories. Award winners will be announced at an event in September. In announcing this year’s finalists, Gov. Rick Snyder said, “Michigan’s policies regarding our energy market, renewable energy and energy waste reduction are helping fuel Michigan’s economy and create jobs in the process.” He added, “We cannot forget, however, that our cheapest energy is that which isn’t used.”
Consumers Energy Unveils Long-term Plan Based on Efficiency, Renewables
This month MEECA member Consumers Energy filed its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the Michigan Public Service Commission. All regulated utility companies must file IRPs in compliance with state legislation adopted in late 2016. Under its plan, Consumers Energy would increase renewable energy from to 43 percent by 2040. According to the company’s press release, “demand response, energy efficiency, and grid modernization tools would take on more significant roles. These virtual ‘power plants’ will help customers save money on their energy bills and reduce energy demand 22 percent by 2040.” Achieving these deeper energy savings will require significant investment, a hopeful sign for businesses working Michigan’s energy efficiency industry.
In-depth modeling analysis showed that these investments in cleaner energy are the most affordable way to meet customers’ needs in the future. They also pave the way for achieving the stated goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent and eliminating the use of coal to generate electricity by 2040. More information about the recently filed IRP can be found at Consumers Energy’s website.
Cost of Saving Electricity Remains Low
The average cost to utilities to save a kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the United States is 2.5 cents, according to the most comprehensive assessment to date of the cost performance of energy efficiency programs funded by electricity customers. Building on prior studies, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab looked at 8,790 electricity efficiency programs between 2009 and 2015 for 116 investor-owned utilities and other program administrators in 41 states—together representing about three-quarters of total spending on electricity efficiency programs in the United States. Among other key findings:
- Programs for the residential sector delivered electricity savings at the lowest cost, averaging 2.1 cents per kWh and driven largely by lighting programs that averaged 1.1 cents per kWh.
- Programs aimed at low-income households averaged 10.5 cents per kWh but only accounted for about 9 percent of spending.
- Savings from commercial and industrial programs cost an average of 2.5 cents per kWh.
- Regional variation ranged from a low of 1.5 cents per kWh in the Midwest to 3.3 cents per kWh in the Northeast.
The report, The Cost of Saving Electricity Through Energy Efficiency Programs Funded by Utility Customers: 2009–2015, is available at this website.
State Efficiency Incentives Averaged $24 Per Customer in 2016
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. electric utilities reported spending $3.6 billion on energy efficiency customer incentives in 2016, or an average of $24 per customer. This conclusion is based on the EIA’s survey of electric power sales, revenue, and energy efficiency (EIA-861).
Most reported spending supported residential and commercial energy efficiency: 43 percent of spending targeted residential customers, and 49 percent targeted commercial customers. The remaining 8 percent of spending targeted industrial customers. Average utility spending ranged from $11 per customer in the South to $47 per customer in the Northeast. Spending also was higher in certain states with high electricity prices, such as Hawaii, or in certain states with climates that require more energy for heating and cooling, such as Illinois and Arizona.
Incremental savings associated with this spending on energy efficiency in 2016 was 27.5 billion kwh, or 0.7 percent of nationwide retail electricity sales. Projected lifecycle savings were much greater, at 354 billion kWh over the lifetime of the efficiency measures used. Like spending, most savings occurred in the residential and commercial sectors.
The figure below shows results for Michigan relative to other states.
Public Policy Update
MEECA Submits Comments on Utility Code of Conduct
This week MEECA submitted written comments on Code of Conduct rules proposed by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on May 17, 2018. The final rules will govern how utility company affiliates must operate in the unregulated marketplace occupied by MEECA contractor members. At issue is protecting these businesses against excessive market power. Michigan statute holds that utilities may offer so-called value-added programs (VAPs) only “if those programs or services do not harm the public interest by unduly restraining trade or competition in an unregulated market.” [Section 10ee(2), MCL 460.10ee(2)].
MEECA’s written comments, which will soon be available at the MPSC website, addressed concerns related to the sharing of assets and employees between utilities and affiliates, ensuring that affiliates not receive preferential treatment or information, rules for competitive bidding and other issues.
Since 2017 MEECA has actively engaged on the promulgation of Code of Conduct rules. On behalf of its members, MEECA attended two stakeholder meetings, submitted previous comments last July, and spoke at a recent public hearing on June 15, 2018. Members with questions about how this rule package might impact their business may contact Executive Director David Gard at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest utility, providing electricity and/or natural gas to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents. Consumers Energy is the principal subsidiary of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corporation. The Company’s name was changed from Consumers Power to Consumers Energy in 1997.
Upcoming Events & Deadlines
11:30am-1:00pm, Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI
Hosted by U.S. Green Building Council, West Michigan
July 15-17, 2018
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Hawk Hollow Championship Golf Course
1:00pm, Wednesday, July 25, 2018
MPSC Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) Low Income Workgroup Meeting
9:00am-Noon, July 26, 2018
MPSC Office at 7109 W. Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI or conference line
Contact MPSC staff member Brad Banks with questions at BanksB1@michigan.gov or 517-284-8118.
Michigan Saves Contractor Breakfast
8:00am, Friday, August 10, 2018
Hennessy’s Pub, 885 Jefferson St., Muskegon, MI
Contact Todd Parker with questions at 517-484-6474 ext. 3 or email@example.com
ASHRAE 90.1 Code Training
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI
Provided by Energy Sciences and Co-hosted by MEECA and Behler-Young
(Details coming very soon!)
Friday, September 14, 2018
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Association is now accepting applications for the 15th Annual Inspiring Efficiency Awards in five categories: Education, Impact, Innovation, Leadership, and Marketing. 2018 Leadership Awards were presented to Gov. Rick Snyder and Mr. Louis James of MEECA member SEEL. The 2019 awards will be presented at a ceremony in Chicago on February 21, 2019.
Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
February 20-22, 2019