November 2019 Newsletter

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

Recap of Annual Membership Meeting

Left: Attendees tour a PACE project site; Right: Members talk with MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg.

As a nonprofit trade association, MEECA is required by law to conduct an annual membership meeting to elect new board members and officers. This is also a time to review recent accomplishments and set new goals for the coming year. The 2019 Annual Meeting was held on October 29th in downtown Lansing. More than 30 people participated. After organizational business was finished, MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg shared her current priorities and answered questions from our members. In particular, she described the MPSC’s recently announced MI Power Grid stakeholder initiative. She encouraged MEECA to actively participate in this multi-year effort focused on Michgian's clean energy transition.

 

Following our discussion with Chairman Talberg, MEECA board member Doug Elbinger and developer Steve Schmidt presented a case study of a nearby PACE-financed commercial project. Attendees then toured the project site before ending up at Lansing Brewing Co. for a networking reception hosted by Development Solutions Midwest.

 

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s annual membership meeting. And special thanks to our generous sponsors who made it possible:

 

SAVE-THE-DATE

MEECA’s Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration will return to the MSU Kellogg Center on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Watch for details soon about registration and sponsorship opportunities. In the meantime, put this date on your calendar for an evening of fun, fellowship and celebration!

Contractor Toolkit

Consumers Energy Annual Trade Ally Roll-out. Consumers Energy Business Energy Efficiency Programs held its 10th annual Trade Ally Rollout on November 6th at MSU’s Breslin Center. They laid out the plan for the future of clean energy and talked about what is ahead in the 2020 program year including a new contractor reward program, 2020 incentive changes, and market intelligence of energy efficiency project opportunities still available in Michigan.

 

Every year the top energy efficiency contractors are honored for their energy savings contributions. MEECA member Development Solutions Midwest swept the Large Business Top Trade Ally awards for natural gas and electric.

 

For event photos, presentation slides and the change log which contains incentive changes from 2019 to 2020, visit the Consumers Energy Trade Ally website.

 

Pest management benefits of energy efficiency. Maintaining the envelop of a building is important for improving energy efficiency. Visit this online resource from Chicago-based Elevate Energy to learn how a well-sealed building can also prevent pest infestation and related problems such as asthma, allergies, and other various diseases. Consider including this as part of your value proposition to potential customers.

 

Workforce Development. In partnership with United Way, MEECA member Walker-Miller Energy Services has trained and certified a cohort of Detroiters to become BPI Building Analysts. Now the company is seeking to place these recent graduates, some of whom bring prior experience in HVAC, lead abatement, construction, customer service, and other skills. If you have a potential opening for one of these candidates, contact Cortlandt McCall at mccall@wmenergy.com

 

The Green Affordable Housing Resource Hub serves as an informational guide for energy project financing, energy management, and policies supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for affordable multifamily properties with a focus on Southeast Michigan.

 

Made-in-Michigan building products.

Recently MEECA co-hosted a webinar with the BlueGreen Foundation about their new online tool to help contractors identify cleaner building-related products that include content from Michigan and nearby states. The recorded webinar is available here.

 

SBAM Resources for Small Businesses

Through a strategic partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM), MEECA members receive SBAM premium member benefits at no additional cost. Here are some recent updates of interest to small companies:

 

SBAM Small Business Weekly Podcast.

Michael Rogers talks with Bob Spence, Executive Director of 126-year-old Spence Brothers Construction. Many small businesses are second generation family owned. Few reach the status of being successful fourth generation family businesses. Spence Brothers Construction has been in the Spence family for 126 years. “I came through the business, into the family, in a culture that basically socialized us into being hard working people and to being trustworthy people, and to basically do business with integrity,” says Bob Spence, executive vice president of Spence Brothers.

New Member

Amatis Controls is a state-of-the-art lighting controls company focused on putting their customers back in control of their buildings, and doing so cost effectively. The DLC-listed Amatis lighting controls system is simple and affordable without sacrificing performance. It is finally simple to design, quote, install and commission a lighting control system, all while receiving excellent customer support along the way. The Amatis wireless mesh network eliminates complexity, reduces range limitations, and expedites troubleshooting compared to wired or traditional wireless networks. Amatis Controls - everything you want in a lighting control solution, nothing you don't.

Renewing Members

Ecotelligent Homes is an award-winning and licensed home performance contractor that specializes in identifying the root cause of your home’s unique comfort concerns.

 

We install customized energy efficiency improvements to solve your problem. If you’re looking for an energy efficiency contractor in Metro Detroit, we can improve your home’s energy usage, insulation, and heating and cooling. Our energy audits will show you what needs to be done so you can be on your way to a more comfortable home that helps preserve natural resources.

B-Y is a third generation family-owned business with a mission of satisfying the comfort needs of homeowners and business owners through wholesale distribution. We strive to be the highest value provider of HVAC/R products and services in our market.

 

Our Company Vision is to have a high-performance workforce providing superior customer service, which will enable us to grow our business and support and empower our dealers.

 

B-Y represents hundreds of manufacturers and we serve thousands of customers throughout Michigan and Northwest Ohio, with 18 branches and a 140,000 square foot distribution center in Kensington Park, outside Brighton, Michigan.

Government agencies and utilities around the world are increasingly introducing programs to help businesses and households use energy more efficiently. Drawing on more than 40 years’ experience, DNV GL helps program sponsors design, implement and track energy efficiency programs on budget, with verifiable results and high customer satisfaction.

 

Improving energy efficiency helps users control energy costs, improve comfort levels, increase productivity and safeguard the environment. It also helps utilities manage supply and demand, optimize their capital expenditure and build lasting customer relationships.

Member Updates

SEEL wins Supplier of the Year, Class III, at the 2019 annual gala of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) in Atlanta, GA.

Public Policy Update

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) recently launched MI Power Grid, a multi-year stakeholder initiative to maximize the benefits of the transition to clean, distributed energy resources for Michigan residents and businesses. MEECA will actively engage in this process to ensure the voice of Michigan contractors are at the table. Contact David Gard at david@meeca.info if your company wishes to be involved directly. See coverage by Energy News Network for more details.

MPSC Energy Waste Reduction (EWR). The final 2020 Michigan Energy Measures Database (MEMD) is now posted online. In addition, agendas and presentation from each of the EWR Collaborative’s monthly meetings are available at the EWR Collaborative website.

Attorney General Dana Nessel joins multi-state EE lawsuit. Responding to the federal government’s rollback of energy efficiency standards, Michigan AG Nessel has joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general to file a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Energy’s lightbulb efficiency final rule.

EE in the News

Michigan drops slightly from #11 to #13 in a state-by-state comparison of energy efficiency efforts. Read more about this 2019 study by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts lower heating bills this winter (October through March). This forecast is based on fuel price and consumption data from EIA and weather forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Upcoming Events

Webinar: PACE Financing as a Tool for Contractors

2:00pm, December 5, 2019

This training will be conducted by Lean & Green Michigan and Inland Green Capital. The webinar is free but space is limited. To participate, please RSVP to David Gard at david@meeca.info 

 

3rd Annual Sustainable Detroit Soiree of USGBC & Detroit 2030 District

December 5, 2019

Guardian Building in Detroit, MI

 

GLREA Annual Meeting

December 7, 2019

Lansing, MI

 

All-Day LEED for Homes Workshop hosted by GreenHome Institute

(Early Bird discount expires 12/1/19)

8:30am—5:00pm, December 10, 2019

Grand Rapids, MI

 

Lean & Green Michigan Holiday Party

5:00-7:00pm, December 11, 2019

Detroit, MI

 

USGBC of West Michigan's Annual Party & Awards Ceremony

5:30-9:00pm, January 16, 2020

Grand Rapids, MI

Note: Nominations remain open for the Innovative Project Award for work completed during August 2018 and August 2019.

 

2020 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference

(Early bird registration ends 12/13/19)

February 26-28, 2020

Chicago, IL

See the event agenda and visit the registration page.

 

A discount will be given to those attending the 2020 Rural Energy Conference presented by ACEEE on February 25, 2020 in Chicago.

 

MEECA's Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration

March 12, 2020

East Lansing, MI

SAVE-THE-DATE: DETAILS COMING SOON....

 

Net Zero Build Summit

This event will bring together both residential and commercial stakeholders around the design, development, and construction of increasingly popular net zero buildings.

March 24-25, 2020

Novi, MI

Project Funding Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is seeking applications for its Rural Energy for America Program, which makes load guarantees and grants available for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, energy audits and more. The next deadline to apply for these grants is March 31, 2020, while applications for load guarantees are accepted year-round.

 

The State of Michigan’s Small Manufacturers Energy Waste Reduction Incentive Pilot is offering rebates up to $15,000 per company for small manufacturers that can implement energy efficiency activities until July 31, 2020. This is a 100 percent minimum match requirement.

 

The Michigan Energy Office is coordinating loans to Michigan-based small businesses for qualified energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects.