October 2019 Newsletter

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

Join us for MEECA's Annual Membership Meeting

3:00-7:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 29, 2019

This month MEECA members and guests will gather for the annual membership meeting. The program—sponsored by Development Solutions Midwest—will feature a conversation with MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg (tentative) and a case study of a nearby PACE project. Members will also receive a brief organizational report and learn results of the board election.

 

We will convene at the Michigan Environmental Council’s historic office located at 602 W. Ionia Ave. in downtown Lansing. After touring the PACE project site just down the block, attendees will head to Lansing Brewing Co. for networking until 7:00 p.m.

 

Be sure to register using this link. If you have questions, contact David Gard at david@meeca.info or 517-896-2960.

Commercial Net Zero Energy Conference a Success!

On September 18th, MEECA co-hosted the conference “Reaching for Net Zero: Commercial Buildings in Michigan” in Detroit. More than one hundred people turned out to learn about techniques to achieve deep energy savings in both existing and new commercial buildings. This followed a similar conference in May that focused on residential net zero structures. It was also an opportunity to hear about updates to the Consumers Energy Zero Net Energy Pilot Program.

 

MEECA is grateful to co-hosts Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA), Michigan Geothermal Energy Association (MGEA), GreenHome Institute (GHI), and Detroit 2030 District. We also wish to recognize our members who served as panelists: Brett Little (GHI), Diana Nash (Energy Sciences), Walt Dindoffer (Development Solutions Midwest), Christian Koch (Lean & Green Michigan), Doug ElbingerBen Glendening and Annie Koch (Consumers Energy), Kirstin Policastro (E Three, Inc.), Diane Mills (Occupant Care), and Pat O’Boyle (Michigan Saves).

 

All signs point to continued growth in awareness and market demand for net zero design, building electrification, and distributed energy systems. Stay tuned for more programming on these emerging issues by MEECA and our partners!

Workforce Development

Need BPI Certified Energy Auditors?

 

MEECA member Walker-Miller Energy Services is hosting a career fair to place recent graduates of its BPI training program. The purpose is to introduce these BPI Certified Energy Auditors to potential employers. The event will take place at WMES headquarters at 8045 2nd Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202 during 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

 

Please use this link or call 313-366-8535 ext. 108 to RSVP. Direct any questions to the same phone number.

 

In partnership with the United Way of Southeast Michigan, WMES trained 30 people who have now passed the written Building Performance Institute’s Building Analyst certification exam, and are in the process of completing the certification requirement. Come meet these candidates who are eager to jump start a career in the energy efficiency industry!

MEWDC Strategic Planning

 

On October 8th, MEECA Executive Director David Gard will participate in a strategic planning session of the Michigan Energy Workforce Development Consortium (MEWDC). If you have ideas for how MEWDC can support MEECA members next year, contact him at 517-896-2960 or david@meeca.info.

SBAM Small Business Corner

MEECA members can take advantage of SBAM membership benefits at no additional cost. Check out these updates from the small business experts at SBAM:

 

The Final Wage and Hour Exempt Regulations are Published

 

Improve your business with tips from the FedEx® Small Business Center

 

W-4 is Changing for 2020

 

Conferences—Worth More Than a Day Out of the Office

Public Policy Update

Statewide Energy Assessment

 

The MPSC has released its much anticipated Statewide Energy Assessment. The report was requested by Gov. Whitmer after a fire at Consumers Energy’s Ray Compressor Station disrupted natural gas service during the polar vortex last winter. As expected, energy efficiency was identified as a key resource option for increasing grid reliability and resiliency.

 

Listen to an interview with MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg on Michigan Radio about the report.

Value-Added Products and Services (VAPS)

 

MPSC issued an order to develop an official website for sharing utility customer information made available to unregulated affiliates, as required by Michigan statute. For several years MEECA has advocated on behalf of our members for measures that enable proper oversight of VAPS programs in a competitive marketplace. Until the website is operational, contractors requesting customer information can use this online form (made available by the Michigan Air Conditioning Contractors Association).

 

Click here to access a related report by MPSC Staff on Code of Conduct Rule 9.

Industry News

Michigan ranks eighth-highest in the nation in the number of energy efficiency jobs. According to a report from Environmental Entrepreneurs, employment in this sector of Michigan’s economy grew nearly 3 percent in 2018.

Traverse City commissioners consider on-bill financing for customers of Traverse City Light & Power to invest in home energy improvements. A similar program is already available to customers of the Holland Board of Public Works, which enrolled its 100th program participant in July.

DTE Energy has announced its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. According to the company’s news release, “achieving carbon neutrality will require further advancements in technology, such as carbon capture, large-scale storage, and modular nuclear facilities.”

San Jose, CA has become the largest city so far to ban natural gas in new residential buildings. The ban in the nation’s tenth most populous city will take effect next year. The vote by city council was unanimous.

A new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) concludes that energy efficiency can slash U.S. energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.

Upcoming Events

MEECA member Energy Sciences is hosting two back-to-back Compressed Air Challenge Seminars during October 8-10, 2019. These seminars help end users and industry solution providers understand how to improve, maintain, and optimize compressed air system performance:

 

     Air Compressor Challenge: Fundamentals

     8:00-5:00, October 8, 2019

     Somerset Inn in Troy, MI 48084

 

     Air Compressor Challenge: Advanced (2 days)

     8:00-5:00, October 9-10, 2019

     Somerset Inn in Troy, MI 48084

 

Consumers Energy Trade Ally and Contractor Orientation Training

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Consumers Energy Training Center in Okemos, MI

 

West Michigan PACE Summit

10:00-2:30, Thursday, October 10, 2019

Grand Rapids, MI

 

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s 6th Annual Triple Bottom Line Bash

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI

 

MEECA Webinar: Finding Healthier and Locally Made Efficient Building Products

1:00pm, Thursday, October 17, 2019

This one-hour webinar looks at how to find locally manufactured energy and water efficient products through the free website, BuildingClean.org

Register here.

 

3rd Annual Sustainable Detroit Forum

9:00-5:00, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Cobo Hall, Detroit

Note: MEECA will host an informal “Afterglow” at 5:00 p.m. at the Apparatus Room in Detroit Foundation Hotel.

 

MEECA’s Annual Membership Meeting

3:00-7:00, Tuesday, October 29, 2019

602 W. Ionia Ave., Lansing, MI 48933

 

The Cannabis Industry Energy Challenge: A Power Industry View of Cannabis Industry Energy Issues

November 4-5, 2019

Anaheim, CA

 

Consumers Energy 2020 Trade Ally Rollout

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Breslin Center in East Lansing, MI

 

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s 2019 Sustainability Conference

Friday, November 8, 2019

Marygrove College in Detroit

 

7th Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala

5:00-9:00pm, Thursday, November 14, 2019

MSU Kellogg Center, East Lansing, MI

 

2019 Michigan Sustainability Conference

Hosted by Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

November 20-21, 2019

Lansing Center

 

GLREA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Industry Seminar

9:00-4:30, Saturday, December 7, 2019

Lansing Brewing Company, 518 Shiawassee St. Lansing, MI 48912

 

Midwest Energy Solutions Conference

February 26-28, 2019

Chicago, IL

Project Funding Opportunities

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is seeking applications for its Rural Energy for America (REAP) Program, which makes loan guarantees and grants available for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, energy audits and more. The deadlines to apply to renewable energy and energy efficiency improvement grants are October 31, 2019 and March 31, 2020, while applications for loan 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 between October 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. There 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.