The MEECA Maven:  News and updates on Michigan's energy efficiency industry. May 2014
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Tactics and Strategies to a Robust EE Industry

Choices Made to Serve MI’s EE Contractors 


Coming off of our run of exhibiting or attending five conferences in the past month we definitely see a myriad of opportunities to provide value for Michigan’s energy efficiency contractors.  As an association we have choices to make when deciding on the strategies and tactics we implement to reach the goal of Michigan having the most robust energy efficiency industry in the nation and to best serve our members.  

One strategy we support is the expansion of our Energy Optimization (EO) programs. Innovation Adoption Curve

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Michigan has 3.7 million single-family houses, 217,000 non-farm business establishments and 5,500 farms.  Data collected by MEECA shows that in 2013, Michigan EE contractors working through the EO programs completed energy efficiency upgrades in 74,000 homes, 9,500 businesses and a handful of farms.  These programs have just started to have an impact on the energy efficiency market. 
 
We see that Michigan is currently in the chasm on what is known as an “innovation adoption curve” (see figure 1).  This is the most tentative position for an innovation or technology to find itself.   There has been significant investments made with innovators and early adopters helping get the idea to market.  However, without an additional boost the chasm will not be bridged and momentum necessary to capture the early majority, i.e 50% of the market, succumbs to the significant friction of market adoption of new ideas.   
 
Expanding Michigan’s energy efficiency programs will be just to sort of boost Michigan’s energy efficiency industry needs to help mature our energy efficiency market.  
 
Read below to see other tactics and strategies MEECA supports to grow Michigan’s energy efficiency industry. 


Sincerely,

  
Brindley Byrd
Executive Director
brindley@meeca.info 
517-203-9180

MEECA Making Good on Promise to be a Voice

Appointment to the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Workgroup


Senator Mike Nofs (R – 19th District), chairman of the Senate Energy & Technology Committee has appointed a 36 member workgroup of legislators, regulators, policy makers and stakeholders in Michigan’s energy industry.  MEECA’s executive director, Brindley Byrd has been selected to serve on the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Workgroup.  Click here to see the full list of members.

MEECA was created to be a voice for energy efficiency contractors.  Now, that voice will be heard at this most crucial time for Michigan’s energy efficiency industry.  We will advocate for expansion of our energy efficiency programs that will position our members and companies working in the energy efficiency industry to succeed. 
 
Senator Nofs will task this workgroup to begin making suggestions that will be included into legislation that will become P.A. 295 v2.0. Public Act 295 was enacted in 2008 and defines renewable portfolio Sen. Mike Nofsstandards (RPS) and energy efficiency resource standards (EERS) that the state’s regulated utilities must achieve.  The RPS requires utilities to have 10% of their power be generated from renewable sources by 2015.  The EERS is currently set at a 1.0% annual electric savings and a 0.75% annual natural gas savings.   P.A. 295 sets-forth many other considerations for Energy Optimization program design along with allowing incentives paid to utilities for over-achieving their EERS goals.  This law is to be reevaluated by the end of 2015. 
 
According to Senator Nofs, the workgroup will look to address energy efficiency issues first, then tackle issues relating to renewable energy.  He will work to establish consensus of the workgroup members on goals and objectives to be offered for consideration by the legislator that will be our new state energy policy. 
 
This will be a be a long and arduous process that will go on into the fall.  With the support and input from MEECA members, supporters and collaborators the voice of energy efficiency contractors will be strong and resonate throughout the workgroup.   
 
As the saying goes, “If you are not at the table, you are on the menu.”  Because of the power in MEECA’s members, energy efficiency contractors finally have a seat at Michigan’s energy policy table.    

Please provide any feedback on how you would like to see Michigan's utility based energy efficiency programs ASAP!!  The first meeting of the workgroup Tuesday, June 3rd.  

Contact Brindley Byrd at brindley@meeca.info or (517) 203-9180

MEECA Influences the Legislature

Bringing Clarity to the Home Performance Industry

 

A few weeks ago Representative Joe
Haveman (R-90th District) introduced HB5397 – The Municipal Utility Residential Clean Energy Program Act on behalf of Holland Board of Power & Light as the City of Holland is implementing their community energy plan. 
 
MEECA and its members provided unanimous support for this bill.  Brindley Byrd testified to that fact before the House Energy & Technology Committee on March 11, 2014. 
 
This bill provides for municipal owned electric utilities to offer an on-bill financing mechanism for homeowners to install energy efficiency improvements or renewable energy installations.   Full text of the bill original bill can be found by clicking here.

Since the bill’s introduction, MEECA has been working on inserting the definition of a home energy audit.  Utilizing our committee structure, we tasked the Home Performance Council to craft language that could be used as the definition.

MEECA’s president, Brad Bartholomew was the main force behind this effort. 

Motivation for clarifying in law what a home energy audit is came from experiences of MEECA’s home performance members who 
have time and time again come across a homeowner who had some sort of evaluation, assessment, consultation, inspection or other process where someone claimed to have provided some sort of judgment and recommendation on potential energy improvements that could be made.  The customers were told or thought they were getting a comprehensive audit.

With such high-stakes at play in a municipally backed funding program, members of the House Energy & Technology Committee were correct to assert that some sort of process be established to protect homeowners.   They wanted homeowners to have assurances of investment payback and that proposed claims of energy performance could be validated against an established home energy baseline. 
 
Turning to the home energy audit standards approved by the American National Standards Institute, the MEECA team worked with senior Republican policy staff and other stakeholders to craft language that will be a cornerstone for Michigan’s home performance industry. 
 
When passed (projected to happen sometime after the summer recess) this definition will bring clarity to the home performance industry and provide assurances that when a homeowner is told they are getting a home energy audit there is a definition of what that is.

Definition: 
 
A home energy audit is a set of procedures where the energy performance of a residential structure is evaluated by a qualified person using building-performance diagnostic equipment following American National Standards Institute approved home energy audit standards to determine how best to optimize energy performance in residential structures; while maintaining or improving human comfort, health and safety, and durability of the structure. A home energy audit shall include a baseline energy model and cost benefit analysis for recommended energy efficiency improvements. 

MEECA Member Meet & Greet

The First of Two Networking Events is Set for June

 
Michigan is currently debating what our future energy policy will be.  P.A. 295 is set for reevaluation in 2015.  Until now, energy efficiency contractors have not had a voice in those discussions.
 
The Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA) was created to be that voice.
 
Join MEECA members and its board of directors for a chance to discuss Michigan's energy policy and other activities MEECA has been working on.
 
Light appetizers provided.  Cash bar.
 
Meeting Details:

Date:        Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Time:        5:00pm – 7:00pm
Location:   Bennucci’s Chicago Oven & Grill
                3717 E Cork St
                Kalamazoo, MI
 

The event is free.
 





 
 

The Power of Interns

Meet MEECA’s 2014 Summer Interns 

 
This summer MEECA is very thankful to have the assistance of three Michigan State University students.  As a start-up association, there is plenty to do.  MEECA is pleased to be in a position to offer these three young adults the chance to dive deep into the world of association management and energy efficiency.   Please welcome Michael, Lauren and Cameron to the MEECA team!
 

MEECA Political Affairs Intern: 
My name is Michael Gannon. I am a current junior at Michigan State University majoring in Political Science - Pre-Law and with a minor in Economics. I am originally from Pi
ttsburgh, PA but moved to Rochester Hills, MI in 2001. Through my internship with the MEECA I hope to better understand the energy efficiency industry as well as learning more about Michigan’s legislative processes.
 



MEECA Marketing Intern: 
 
Hello, my name is Lauren Henderson.  I am entering my third year of college at Michigan State University this fall.  I am from Williamston, MI home of the Hornets.  I am studying marketing and advertising as I am interested in helping companies or organizations promote themselves.  During my internship, I look forward to getting the chance to learn about the energy industry and figure out how best to market MEECA to potential members.   



MEECA Communications Intern: 

Hi my name is Cameron Dunlap.  I’m from Canton, MI and currently studying journalism atMichigan State University.  As a MEECA intern, I’m looking forward to using my writing and communications skills to deliver effective messages to the energy industry of Michigan. I’m also hoping to learn new skills and gain new experiences from this opportunity.  

 


 

To join MEECA please complete our Membership Application.

For more information please contact Brindley Byrd at 517-203-9180  or brindley@meeca.info.
 
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