October 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 this fall.

Recap of MEECA Annual Membership Meeting

MEECA President Ryan Oswald addresses attendees at the 2018 annual meeting.

This year MEECA held its annual membership meeting in Saginaw. Attendees gathered on October 11th at the headquarters of MEECA member Duro-Last. Key items on the agenda included reporting on activities during the previous year and looking ahead to programming in 2019. The results of the annual board election were also announced.


We wish to thank outgoing board members Amanda Godward of Ecotelligent Homes and Shannon Morrow who represented SEEL. Both have contributed immensely to MEECA and its mission through the years, with Amanda having previously served as Board President.


Replacing Amanda and Shannon are K. Dwight Hawks of Hawks & Associates and Malcolm Miller with Walker-Miller Energy Services. Congratulations to Dwight and Malcolm, and welcome to MEECA’s leadership!


The following board members were re-elected to new terms: Ryan Oswald (Pure Eco), Walt Dindoffer (Development Solutions Midwest), Bill Ringrose (DNV GL), Pete Kiser (Behler-Young), and Katie Chapman (Duro-Last). All of them will continue serving with their colleagues who are still serving ongoing terms: Ken Nielsen (The Nielsen Group), Doug Elbinger (Newman Consulting Group), James March (March Electric), Frank Schulmeister (Energy Sciences), Todd O’Grady (Michigan SAVES), and Len Smith (Lumacuity LED Lighting).


Following the Board’s business agenda, the focus of the annual meeting shifted to our host company Duro-Last. Katie Chapman talked about the production, application and benefits of Duro-Last’s signature green roofing product. This product is now covered by utility program incentives including a Michigan-made credit. Katie and Walt Dindoffer then described the company’s own journey in making energy efficiency upgrades to its manufacturing operations. The event concluded with a facility tour led by Sam Tilmon to learn more about these upgrades, but not before Consumers Energy presented Duro-Last with an award for the significant energy savings that were realized. The networking and fun continued during a post-event dinner at Zehnder’s Restaurant in nearby Frankenmuth.


We wish to thank all those who attended the 2018 Annual Meeting, and to our host company Duro-Last, event sponsor Development Solutions Midwest, and dinner sponsor Consumers Energy.

Click on the images above for captions.

MEECA Events Around the Corner

Code Update Seminar: The NEW Michigan Energy Code & ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013

9:00am-1:00pm on Thursday, November 8, 2018


Registration remains open for this commercial code training which will convene at the DNV GL office in Detroit on November 8, 2018. The instructor will be Sonya Pouncy with Energy Sciences. MEECA members receive a registration discount and participants are eligible for AIA Continuing Education Credits. Special thanks to the Michigan Energy Office for sponsoring this code training event!


Tour of Zero Net Energy Facility & MEECA Networking

4:00-5:30pm on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Save-the-Date and look for the registration website soon! 

The IBEW Local 58 training facility, situated in Detroit's Corktown, was recently renovated to become Michigan's largest Zero Net Energy building. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from the experts behind this unique project. Following a technical presentation and facility tour, we will continue the conversation and professional networking at one of Corktown's nearby eateries.

EE in the News

Michigan SAVES Announces New Measures for Financing

In response to requests by customers and contractors, MEECA member Michigan SAVES has added twelve new energy efficiency and renewable energy measures to the list of items covered by its financing. Visit their website to learn about these expanded offerings now available to the clean energy marketplace.


Michigan Looks to Improve Clean Energy Programs for Agricultural and Rural Residents

The Michigan Energy Office is launching an effort to develop a roadmap to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy programs for Michigan's agricultural and rural residents. Included in the final report will be recommendations for improving Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) programs in this sector. You can help shape MEECA's input to this process by sharing your ideas with Executive Director David Gard at david@meeca.info; click here for the official news release. 


Lower Bills Projected for Michigan Gas Customers

The Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) has released its Winter Energy Appraisal. One finding is that despite higher demand for natural gas, customers can expect lower bills due to a drop in the commodity price of natural gas. Read MAE's news release which includes a link to the full report. 


Holland Energy Fund Reaches $1 Million in Homeowner Loans

In less than two years, Michigan’s first on-bill financing program for home energy upgrades has reached a loan volume of $1 million. The program supports the City of Holland’s long-range Community Energy Plan and could serve as a model for other programs throughout the state. To learn more about this significant development, visit HollandEnergyFund.com


Michigan is #11 in 2018 ACEEE Scorecard

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks Michigan as eleventh in its annual nationwide energy efficiency scorecard. Our state received a total of 28.5 out of 50 possible points based on more than 30 policy areas and metrics. A summary of the 2018 Scorecard with a link to the document can be found at the ACEEE website.


DTE Energy Releases 2017 EWR Annual Report

Click here for DTE Energy’s report on its recent Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) program activity and results. Average participant savings range from $75 to $200 per year, while cumulative lifetime electricity bill savings are estimated at nearly $649 million.


Industry Expert Sees Growing Demand in Behind-the-meter Microgrids

Energy News Network recently spoke with Schneider Electric's Don Wingate about his company’s outlook on the Midwest microgrid market. Read the full interview on what he sees as the multiple drivers of adoption of these systems.


Utility Customers Surveyed about Attitudes Toward Big Data

The Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative asked about 1,700 U.S. customers about their attitude toward smart meters and related products. Among the findings are that utility customers want real-time energy use data, but they are concerned about who is handling their personal information. Click here to read the full article at Energy News Network.


MTU Students Showcase Sustainable U.P. House

Students at Michigan Tech hosted an open house of their Sustainability Demonstration House (SDH), a 1954 structure that has been outfitted with LED lighting, induction burners, water-saving measures, solar panels, and more. Combined these upgrades are projected to yield $12,000 of electricity savings over ten years and $200 per year in water bills. Learn more about this story at the Daily Mining Gazette.


University of Michigan Commits to Carbon Neutrality

The University of Michigan has joined the growing ranks of institutions aiming to eliminate the carbon footprint of higher education. President Mark Schlissel reported that UM’s previous goal of 25 percent carbon reduction will be met ahead of the 2025 deadline. Other Big Ten schools pledging carbon neutrality by 2050 include Ohio State, Northwestern, University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, and University of Illinois. Michigan State University has stated a goal of 65 percent lower emissions by 2030. The full article can be seen at MLive.

Newest MEECA Member

This month we welcome new member Sikkema Equipment based in Byron Center. The company is taking advantage of MEECA's 6-month free Trial Membership Program sponsored by DNV-GL. This opportunity is available to any C/I trade ally of DTE Energy or Consumers Energy through 2018,

At Sikkema Equipment, our team members are driven by consumer relationships and satisfaction. With two locations in Michigan to best serve clients, our qualified staff and technicians believe in quality service and routine maintenance programs to ensure the highest quality of performance from our equipment.

Renewing Members

In 2001, Walt Dindoffer started Development Solutions, (now Development Solutions Midwest).  The company’s focus was on helping industrial clients improve their costs. Over 95% of the company’s revenue has been derived from energy efficiency projects. Mr. Dindoffer has been responsible for saving his employers and clients over $100 million of energy costs by designing, installing, and managing over 1000 energy efficient projects. These projects reflect a savings of over 454,408.70 tons of Green House Gas emissions. Proposals to customers include a guarantee of a minimum of energy savings in actual dollars. Each project is uniquely designed for each customer. 

Ken Nielsen is a licensed professional engineer with over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing, engineering and construction. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University and serves as president of The Nielsen Group. a consulting engineering firm with a focus on energy reduction. Services include but are not limited to energy audits, efficiency improvements, utility rebates, certifications, feasibility studies, process engineering, project development, project management and technical due diligence. Clients include forest products, minerals, power, manufacturing, biofuels, green chemistry, food & beverage, schools, hospitals and commercial facilities. The Nielsen Group is familiar with both conventional and renewable energy. During his career, Ken Nielsen has helped employers and clients save or avoid over $100 million in energy costs.

Upcoming Events

Free Continuing Education Webinar: Intro to fully ducted heat pumps

12:00-1:15pm on November 7, 2018

Hosted by GreenHome Institute


Training Session: New Michigan Energy Code and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013

9:00am-1:00pm on Thursday, November 8, 2018

DNV GL Training Center, Detroit

Hosted by MEECA in partnership with Energy Sciences and DNV GL. Sponsored by the Michgian Energy Office.


2019 Trade Ally Rollout

by Consumers Energy Business Energy Efficiency Programs

8:00am-Noon, Thursday on November 8, 2018

Lansing Center in Lansing, MI


2018 USGBC West Michigan Annual Party & Award Ceremony

5:30-8:30pm on Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Ballroom at McKay in Grand Rapids, MI


Facing Race: A National Conference

November 8-10, 2018

Cobo Center in Detroit, MI

This gathering will include several components related to energy democracy, helping cities and states to implement new energy programs in a way that is racially equitable.


Michigan EIBC’s Annual Energy Innovator’s Gala

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

MSU Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI


Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

November 14-16, 2018

McCormick Place in Chicago, IL


Tour of Award-Winning Zero Net Energy Facility & MEECA Networking Event

4:00-5:30pm on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

IBEW Local 58 in Detroit, MI

Online registration available soon!


Building Green and Beer Series: Benefits of going all electric in buildings

5:00-7:30pm on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, MI

Hosted by GreenHome Institute


Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference

November 28-29, 2018

St. Louis, MO


Better Buildings, Better Business Conference

February 13-15, 2019

Wisconsin Dells


2019 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference

February 20-22, 2019

Chicago, IL


MEECA’s Annual Awards Banquet

March 6, 2019

Save-the-Date, details to come!


2019 National Home Performance Conference and Trade Show

April 1-4, 2019

Chicago, IL