September 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the newsletter of the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association (MEECA), the voice for Michigan's energy efficiency contractors.

MEECA's Inaugural Golf Outing a Big Hit

This summer marked MEECA’s first annual Golf Outing which took place on July 26th. The networking event and fundraiser was a clear success, drawing 76 golfers to the beautiful Hawk Hollow Championship Golf Course just north of East Lansing.

 

Following a round of eighteen holes with lunch at the turn, golfers and guests attended a reception and awards ceremony that honored the best (and worst) teams and featured other cash prizes for longest drive, longest putt, and closest-to-the-pin competitions. During the reception, Sean McCoy of the event’s marquee sponsor, DNV-GL, announced his company’s sponsorship of MEECA’s 2017 Trial Membership Program—an opportunity for a free 6-month membership available to DTE Energy and Consumers Energy trade allies who participate in Commercial/Industrial EE programs.

 

Pictures from this year’s round of golf and reception at Hawk Hollow are posted here.

 

By all accounts the first annual Golf Outing achieved its goal of bringing together energy efficiency professionals for a day of informal networking, relationship-building, and well-deserved fun. MEECA wishes to thank everyone who supported the Golf Outing including all golfers and the following generous sponsors: DNV-GL, CLEAResult, SEEL, Johnstone Supply (The Sheehan Group), Development Solutions, Consumers Energy, ICF, Team Financial Group, PureEco, Energy Smart, Michigan Saves, and Great Lakes HySave.

Governor's Energy Excellence Award Nominees Announced

Twenty-three businesses, organizations, and individuals from across the state have been selected as finalists for the 2017 Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards, which recognize people and organizations in Michigan that have taken firm, meaningful actions to improve energy efficiency. A number of this year’s finalists are MEECA members. Click here to view the official website for the award.

 

Nominations were made in eight different categories, which demonstrate the diverse nature of energy efficiency deployment. The award winners will be announced at an event in mid-October. Congratulations and good luck to all MEECA members who were nominated!

 

Following is a list of this year’s finalists by category:

  • Best Projects—Residential: Marti Burbeck, Ann Arbor; Sandra Keirnan, Holland; Tom Tishler, Kalamazoo
  • Best Projects—Agriculture: Friske Orchards, Charlevoix; Grand Valley Farms, Rives Junction; Sklarczyk Seed Farm, Johannesburg
  • Best Projects—Industrial/Manufacturing: HyCAL Corporation, Gibraltar; Verso Corporation, Escanaba 
  • Best Projects—Commercial (Private): First Housing Corporation, Lansing; Gateway Village, Sturgis; Islamic Center of America, Dearborn 
  • Best Projects—Public: Ewen-Trout Creek School, Ewen; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo; Public Libraries of Saginaw, Saginaw 
  • Contractor of the Year: Better World Builders LLC, Kalamazoo; Don Earl Heating & A/C, Sault Ste. Marie; Medler Electric, Alma 
  • Innovator of the Year: Walt Dindoffer, Temperance; Holland Energy Fund, Holland; Carla Walker-Miller, Detroit 
  • Best Communication or Education Program: Consumers Energy, Okemos; GreenHome Institute, Grand Rapids; The Heat and Warmth Fund, Detroit

Four other organizations received honorable mentions, including:

  • Best Project—Agriculture: Nash Greenhouses LLC, Kalamazoo
  • Best Project—Commercial (Private): Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing
  • Best Project—Public: Ann Arbor Housing Commission, Ann Arbor
  • Innovator of the Year: Southwest Housing Solutions, Detroit

SAVE-THE-DATE: MEECA Annual Membership Meeting

All MEECA members are invited to attend the annual membership meeting on Thursday, October 12, 2:00-4:00p.m. We will convene at the Brookshire Inn & Golf Club, 205 W. Church St. in Williamston.

 

Formal business will include election of new board members. If your company is interested in a seat on the MEECA board of directors, please contact Nominations Committee Chair Ryan Oswald at ryan.oswald@pureecoes.com. The annual meeting will also feature a public policy update by executive director David Gard and an informal networking reception.

 

RSVP by email to David Gard at david@meeca.info.

MEECA Submits Comments to MPSC

Under Michigan’s new energy law, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) is required to establish a code of conduct that applies to electric, natural gas, and steam utilities, and which is intended to prevent cross-subsidization, preferential treatment, and information sharing between a utility‘s regulated services and unregulated programs and services. The law also allows utility companies to offer their customers “value-added programs and services.” The MPSC is undertaking a rulemaking process to implement these provisions.

 

Engaging on behalf of its members, MEECA recently filed written comments and participated in two stakeholder meetings on June 26 and August 29. MEECA’s comments are posted at the MPSC website (see pp. 32-37 of the PDF document).

 

For information on other EE-related policy discussions happening in Lansing, visit the MPSC energy legislation website or contact David Gard at david@meeca.info or 517-896-2960.

Second Annual Energy Efficiency Day Campaign

A nationwide network will promote the benefits of efficiency with the second annual Energy Efficiency Day campaign on October 5th. Contractors can participate in the campaign as a way to promote their services. See the campaign website for more details. Campaign participants can share messages via their existing online presence. It is an opportunity to gain more followers and promote EE success stories during and after the campaign. The overall message will be "Energy Efficiency Day: Save energy. Save money." (Hashtag: #EEDay2017)

 

Energy Efficiency Day is a collaborative effort of regional and national organizations working to promote energy efficiency. More than 175 government agencies, companies, utilities, cities, and other organizations were official supporters in 2016. This year will be bigger—don't miss it!

MEECA Trial Membership Program Launched

MEECA is excited to partner with DNV-GL on a FREE 6-month Trial Membership Program. This program gives Commercial/Industrial trade allies of DTE Energy or Consumers Energy the opportunity to experience the full benefits of MEECA membership for a limited time. To learn more about the program or to sign up, contact MEECA executive director David Gard at david@meeca.info or 517-896-2960.

 

Thanks to DNV-GL for making this opportunity available to Michigan's EE contractors.

New Members

We are pleased to announce the first company to participate in MEECA's Trial Membership Program. Join us in welcoming Energy Design Engineers as our newest member.

Energy Design Engineers designs cost effective Intelligent LED Lighting Solutions for indoor and outdoor environments. Our approach is simple and works. We listen to our clients' needs and design the most energy efficient lighting system around them.

Renewing Members

We specialize in commercial, industrial, and custom home projects of all sizes. Whether you need emergency service repair, new heating and air conditioning equipment, or even a geothermal system, we have what you need at prices you can afford.

Duro-Last is now the world's largest manufacturer of custom-fabricated roofing systems. Duro-Last Roofing Systems, our contractor installation team, customer service and best-in-class warranties all set the quality standards for the roofing industry.

WECC is a national leader in the design and implementation of innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. WECC partners with utilities, local and state governments, regulatory agencies, and other organizations to provide cost-effective solutions that help both consumers and businesses save energy and money.

Better World Builders specializes in the analysis and correction of energy loss in commercial and residential buildings. We have an intimate understanding of building science principals and how they relate to the safe and efficient use of heating and cooling energy.

GreenHome Institute is a nonprofit organization that empowers professionals and homeowners to make healthier and more sustainable choices in the places we live.

Walker-Miller Energy Services is a Detroit-based energy solutions company promoting innovative and cost-effective strategies. Our energy efficiency technology and services improve infrastructure while also promoting energy education and best practices for all utility customers.

DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan.

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

Bartholomew Heating & Cooling, Inc. is a customer focused heating and air-conditioning company that was originally started in 1955. Located in Kalamazoo, we employ highly trained people whole goal is to make our company the best service company in Kalamazoo and outlying areas.

CLEAResult is the largest provider of energy efficiency programs and services in North America. Through proven strategies tailored to clients’ unique needs and market dynamics, the combined strength of experienced energy experts and technology-enabled service offerings help CLEAResult change the way people use energy for hundreds of utility and business partners.

Energy Efficiency in the News

Here is a synopsis of other recent updates relevant to Michigan's energy efficiency industry.

Michigan Saves Embraces Big Goal

Michigan Saves recently passed a milestone: enabling $100 million in clean energy investments since its inception in 2010. According to Mary Templeton with Michigan Saves, the organization’s board of directors has challenged staff with achieving a further 10-fold increase in investment. “We’re setting our sights on financing $1 billion worth of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the next five to seven years,” Templeton said.  Michigan Saves is a nonprofit which enables energy improvement through affordable financing and incentives available through grants and various partnerships. In all, Michigan Saves has been involved with roughly 8,600 projects totaling $102 million in clean energy investment. Click here to learn more.

SBAM Energy Solutions Program

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) is partnering with Consumers Energy and DTE Energy to provide enhanced energy services to small business across Michigan with the SBAM Energy Solutions program. SBAM members have the opportunity to engage with three energy specialists and discuss the best options for their small businesses. For details on how small business owners can utilize the SBAM Energy Solutions program, visit the program website.

PACE Update: Two Michigan communities take a different approach to PACE

Two West Michigan cities have recently adopted Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs. But instead of the most common approach of creating a jurisdiction-wide PACE district, officials in Wyoming and Grand Rapids—both in Kent County—will approve PACE districts on a project-by-project basis. PACE financing allows commercial property owners to pay for investments in energy efficiency or renewable energy through an assessment on their property tax bill. So far twenty-one counties and 11 cities and townships have now adopted PACE. More information about this development can be found here.

PACE Update: Two new projects announced in Southeast Michigan

Two PACE-financed projects were announced this month in southeast Michigan. In Detroit, the historic Whitney Restaurant will make a series of energy efficiency improvements through PACE financing, expecting to lower its utility bills by 10 to 20 percent. Using $863,130 provided by Petros PACE Finance of Austin, TX, Whitney owner Bud Liebler is overhauling the building’s systems to reduce electricity and natural gas use. Meanwhile in nearby Macomb County, the Garfield medical office building is making similar efficiency upgrades that are expected to result in a net energy savings of more than $250,000 over 20 years. Click here to learn more.

New Report Explores EE Financing for Low- and Moderate-Income Households

Energy Efficiency Financing for Low- and Moderate-Income Households: Current State of the Market, Issues and Opportunities, a report by Berkeley Lab released by the State and Local Energy Efficiency (SEE) Action Network explores the challenges and potential solutions for ramping up adoption of energy efficiency by low- and moderate-income households. Many decision-makers across the country are exploring financing as a tool to help address some of these barriers and support multiple policy goals, such as equitable access to efficiency services, more affordable energy bills, meeting energy needs with least-cost resources, job creation, and improved public health. Click here to learn more.

Michigan Capitol Goes Green with Geothermal

The Michigan Capitol will install a new geothermal heating and cooling system that officials say will be the largest of its kind at a state government building in the country. It will mean “utility independence, cost savings and clean, green energy,” said Tim Bowlin, chief financial officer and project manager for the Michigan Capitol Commission. “The wells have a 50-year guarantee, but we’re anticipating 100-plus years.” Click here to learn more.

DOE Study Highlights the System Benefits of EE

The Department of Energy has released its long-awaited Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability (informally, the “Grid Study”). Among its findings, the report describes several key impacts of energy efficiency on the electric grid. While the report charts little new territory, it is notable that it provides evidence of the powerful, positive role that energy efficiency plays in meeting grid reliability, resilience, and affordability goals. Click here to read further analysis.

Who Invests in Energy Efficiency and Why?

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published the second in a series of three blog posts on better understanding investments in efficiency. The first post discussed current EE investments in the United States, estimated at $60-115 billion per year. This number includes investments driven by policy, private market investments, and a mix of the two. In the second post, ACEEE executive director Steve Nadel explores who invests in efficiency and why, focusing on mainstream businesses and consumers. Stay tuned for the third and final post, which will build on the first two and discuss approaches that could increase efficiency investments in the future.

One in eight U.S. homes uses a programmed thermostat with a central A/C unit

Programmable thermostats are designed to help manage energy use, but most of the U.S. households with these controls do not choose to program their thermostats. Based on information collected through EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) for 2015, only 12% of the nation’s 118 million households had a central air-conditioning unit that is actually controlled using the programmed thermostat. Click here to learn more.

Per capita residential electricity sales in the U.S. have fallen since 2010

Following sustained growth through 2010, U.S. residential electricity sales have declined in both absolute and per capita terms. Although changes in the weather are a key driver of year-over-year fluctuations, energy efficiency improvements and economic factors have contributed to the decline in per capita residential electricity sales since 2010. Click here to learn more.

Michigan firm's high-tech windows reduce energy loss, stay clear

Mackinac Technology Co. based in Kentwood is developing a transparent glazing material that will cut energy wastes when they are retro-fitted like a storm window to existing glass windows.

Mackinac's product has the same insulation value as a regular wall, reducing one of the main sources of energy loss in most buildings, making it possible to reduce a building's total energy demand by 10 percent, says president and CEO John Slagter. Click here to learn more.

Upcoming Events

MPSC Public Hearings on Integrated Resource Planning (IRP)

The Michigan Public Service Commission will hold three public hearings in September to receive comment on a proposed draft plan for what rate-regulated utilities will be required to provide in their Integrated Resource Plans filed with the state. The hearing dates and locations are:

  • Wednesday, September 6, 1:00 PM–5:00 PM at Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Rd., Livonia
  • Wednesday, September 13, 1:00 PM—5:00 PM at the L.V. Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton, Room 210, Grand Rapids
  • Tuesday, September 19, Noon—4:00 PM at Northern Michigan University, University Center-Huron, Erie Room, 1401 Presque Isle, Marquette

 

2nd Annual Michigan Sustainability Conference

Thursday, September 14, 8:00 AM—4:00 PM
Crowne Plaza Detroit Riverfront

 

Advancing Women in Energy (AWE) luncheon featuring MISO Director Phyllis Currie
Friday, September 15, 12:00 - 1:30 PM
2200 Moores River Drive, Lansing, MI

To become a member and register for the luncheon, visit the AWE website.

 

Nationwide Energy Efficiency Day

Thursday, October 5, 2017

 

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light: 2017 Sustainability Conference

Friday, October 6, 8:00 AM—3:00 PM

University United Methodist Church, 1120 S Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI

 

MEECA Annual Membership Meeting

Thursday, October 12, 2:00—4:00 PM

Brookshire Inn & Golf Club in Williamston, MI

(RSVP to David Gard at david@meeca.info)