Late Fall 2020 Newsletter

Periodic news and updates from the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA).

Annual Golf Outing: Better Late Than Never!

MEECA’s autumn schedule kicked off with the organization’s 4th Annual Golf Outing on September 9th. This year the pandemic required us to move the event from midsummer and make it smaller and simpler. Despite these adjustments and cool, damp weather, 48 people still safely gathered for a day of fun and camaraderie. Instead of the usual buffet reception in the clubhouse, the group enjoyed an informal outdoor get-together to unwind after golf.

 

A limited number of pictures from the outing can be found at this link.

 

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s event! MEECA is especially grateful to the following sponsors for their support.

Jim Newman Headlines Annual Membership Meeting

MEECA conducted its yearly membership meeting on October 15th. Jim Newman with Newman Consulting Group kicked things off with a Zoom presentation about indoor air quality and COVID-19. Jim, a MEECA member, is a nationally recognized expert in building science. Online resources related to buildings and COVID-19 include his Green Building Blog and most recommended websites.

 

Following Jim’s talk, the business meeting featured updates on MEECA’s finances, administration, membership services and public policy engagement. Much of this dealt with ongoing impacts of the pandemic on the organization and its members. The board then discussed initial steps for strategic planning to begin in early 2021.

 

The 2020-2021 Board of Directors was also announced:

  • Congratulations to new board members Kirstin Policastro (E3, Inc.), Kevin Anderson (Development Solutions Midwest), Sean McCoy (DNV GL), and Sam Tilmon (Duro-Last, Inc.).
  • Welcome back to re-elected board members Dwight Hawks (Hawks and Associates), Ryan Oswald (Pure Eco), Malcolm Miller (Walker-Miller Energy Services), and Pete Kiser (Behler-Young).
  • A huge thank you to departing board members Katie Chapman (Duro-Last, Inc.), Walt Dindoffer (Development Solutions Midwest), Ashley Lucier (SEEL), and Bill Ringrose (DNV GL).

MEECA Co-Hosts Residential Net Zero Conference

Building on a similar event last year, MEECA worked with several partners to host a residential net zero energy conference during October 20-22nd. The three-day virtual event, aimed at sharing the latest information about net zero construction and renovation techniques in the residential sector, attracted several hundred participants. MEECA executive director David Gard moderated two panels during the conference. Recordings of all plenary and breakout panel sessions are available on YouTube.

 

Conference partners included Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA), Michigan Geothermal Energy Association (MGEA), GreenHome Institute (GHI), University of Michigan, and Architectural Resource, LLC.

 

The following sponsors supported this educational conference:

New Members

Welcome aboard to the three newest members of MEECA!

The Ogni Group provides energy, environmental, and sustainability services to commercial and industrial clients. Our engineers develop and implement solutions that reduce energy costs, decrease emissions, improve operations, maximize performance, and increase efficiency. The company was incorporated in 2006 and is a Minority Owned Business.

 

Our Mission:

  • Deliver Best-in-Class Energy Management Solutions
  • Lead our customers and industry partners to sustainability
  • Impact the energy economy by providing renewable / alternative energy solutions

Expert Lighting Group provides quality lighting upgrades to commercial and industrial building owners and operators by disrupting the lighting industry’s process of bringing products to market with unnecessary markups and poor-quality LED products.

 

In an industry that is ever evolving and quickly reinventing itself, there is a huge need for a company with no ties to any specific product or manufacturer and that is able to handle lighting projects from start-to-finish.

 

Expert Lighting Group was established in 2014 to help clients maximize energy savings, remove maintenance costs, assist with all qualifying incentives, complete project management, and handle all on-going warranty claims after project completion. We work to eliminate unnecessary levels of markup from rep agents, local electrical distributors, installing contractors, and more.

 

This is what we strive to deliver with EVERY project we take on. This is who we are. This is Expert Lighting Group.

Evergreen Consulting Group motivates markets to achieve utility goals. Since 1997, our all-virtual expert team has developed and managed successful commercial, industrial and residential energy initiatives for utilities, trade ally networks and energy conservation companies across the country. By tracking real-time energy industry technology and trends, and focusing on the power of relationships, Evergreen delivers exceptional services that sustain our planet, businesses and communities. In collaboration with our clients, we have saved more than 2 billion kWh of electricity in Evergreen’s lifetime.

Renewing Member

Development Solutions Midwest provides services to industrial and large commercial clients in the areas of:

  • Energy Savings
  • Project Management
  • Quality and Safety
  • Training
  • Plant Engineering
  • Capital Management
  • Strategic Development

 

​Our approach is to apply practical and proven solutions to help our clients improve their operations.

 

​If you would like to reduce your natural gas, electrical, or water consumption, and significantly reduce your energy costs, Development Solutions Midwest has the expertise to help you.

Contractor Information from LARA

LARA Trades Connection: September 2020 (Fall)

 

Building Energy Code Info: If you would like to receive emails about Michigan energy code adoption from the state agency, send a message that reads “I would like to receive all notifications related to the MI energy code” to: LARA-BCC-Rules@michigan.gov

Public Policy Updates

Governor Launches Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan

 

This fall Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled a plan to reduce Michigan’s greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent below 1999 levels by 2025. The MI Healthy Climate Plan creates the Climate Solutions Council that will develop the roadmap to achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality.

 

The effort will be led by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) in partnership with other state agencies and departments, including the MPSC. Fourteen citizens with relevant expertise will also be selected to serve on the Council.

 

The plan requires all new buildings and facilities owned and operated by the state, and all major renovations to those structures be carbon neutral by 2040, and all existing buildings and facilities reduced energy use by 40 percent by 2040. It also directs Department of Treasury to make recommendations for minimizing this transition’s negative impacts such as dislocation, and potential loss of jobs and tax base.

 

For more information, refer to Executive Directive ED 2020-10 and Executive Order EO 2020-182.

MI Power Grid Stakeholder Process

 

Launched in October 2019, 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. Click here for a status report on the initiative.

 

On behalf of our members, MEECA engaged in the Energy Programs and Technology Pilots workgroup. Click on the icon below for MEECA's public comments filed prior to release of the final staff report.

MEECA_Comments on MPSC Staff draft repor[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [168.2 KB]

 

MEECA is currently participating in the Integration of Resource / Distribution / Transmission Planning workgroup. The next meeting will be 1:00-4:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Final 2021 MEMD Released

 

MPSC recently published the final version of the 2021 Michigan Energy Measures Database (MEMD). Visit the MPSC website for more information.

Michigan EWR and DR Statewide Potential Study

 

The MPSC has selected Guidehouse Inc. to conduct the study of Michigan’s technical, economic, and achievable energy waste reduction and demand response potential. The study period is 2021 to 2040. The project is expected to be completed by August 30, 2021.

 

MEECA participated in the initial stakeholder session. The next public meeting will be in late January. In the meantime, contact David Gard at david@meeca.info with any questions or suggestions for how this statewide study should be conducted.

Incoming Biden Administration Energy Plan

 

Early clues about the priorities of President-Elect Biden's energy priorities can be found at the Biden/Harris transition website. Here is language pertaining to energy savings:

 

Upgrade 4 million buildings and weatherize 2 million homes over 4 years, creating at least 1 million good-paying jobs with a choice to join a union; and also spur the building retrofit and efficient-appliance manufacturing supply chain by funding direct cash rebates and low-cost financing to upgrade and electrify home appliances and install more efficient windows, which will cut residential energy bills.

EE in the News

Industry Updates from American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

2020 GLREA Annual Meeting

10:00 a.m., Saturday, December 5, 2020

 

“Toast to Ten” Virtual Celebration hosted by Michigan Saves

4:00-5:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 9, 2020

 

2021 Midwest Energy Solutions Preview Event

The Effects of COVID-19 on Energy Efficiency

1:00-3:00 p.m. EST, Thursday, December 10, 2020

 

Lean & Green Michigan’s Virtual Holiday Party & Awards Ceremony

4:00 p.m., Thursday, December 17, 2020

 

Consumers Energy HVAC Program Update

Reminder to submit all applications with ECM motors by December 31, 2020!

ECM motors will no longer be eligible for a rebate, effective January 2021. Direct any questions to the Account Advocate Team at consumershvac@icf.com or 855-263-5390.

 

MEECA Online Training: Update on PACE Financing

10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 13, 2021

 

MEECA Online Training: Update on SBAM Membership Benefits

10:00 a.m., Wednesday, January 20, 2021

 

2021 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference (Virtual)

February 16-19, 2021

Program Opportunities

EGLE’s Michigan K-12 Public School HVAC Assistance Program

 

Michigan licensed HVAC contractors are encouraged to be apply to the Michigan K-12 Public School HVAC Assistance Program (link) for assisting schools with recommendations to reduce infectious aerosol transmission via the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems.  Participating HVAC contractors complete a program provided onsite HVAC inspection checklist, at pre-approved K-12 public school buildings, to generate a recommendation report with cost estimates for implementation. 

 

The maximum award is $15,000 per applicant, with a maximum payment of $1,500 per completed checklist report.  Awards will be given on a first come, first served basis until funding is depleted.  Michigan licensed HVAC contractors can apply by completing a brief online application (link). 

 

Additional information is available on the Michigan K-12 Public School HVAC Assistance Program website (link).  Questions can be directed to David Herb,

 

EGLE Energy Services at HerbD@michigan.gov.

HEPA Filter Rebates

 

Consumers Energy is offering HEPA filter rebates through the Business Instant Discount Program to help with State of Michigan funded HVAC Assistance Program for K-12 Schools.

 

Click here for program details.

 

Current incentive up to $80 per qualifying filter at participating distributors. Visit this website for a list of distributors and current instant rebates.

Online Contractor Trainings for PACE Certification

 

Want to become a PACE Certified contractor or consultant? Want to re-certify with the latest updates in the Michigan PACE market? Lean & Green Michigan's PACE Contractor Training service is available on our website!

Job Postings

Check out current job openings with the following MEECA members:

 

Walker Miller Energy Services

 

Energy Sciences

 

SEEL