DECEMBER, 2010 – Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth has unveiled a new tool for local community leaders to interact online with the state and their peers to share ideas and best practices on energy efficiency and sustainability.
The new website, the Michigan Energy Efficiency Network www.michEEN.org (pronounced “machine”), was created by DELEG in partnership with INgage Networks and Michigan State University College of Communication Arts & Sciences. The website’s goal is to help local communities and others save time, money and energy.
“We have 2500 local jurisdictions in Michigan who want to be more sustainable but many don’t know where to start. This is where the journey begins! The new website offers the ability to share information online to leverage all of the available resources. Now they have a tool for learning and will have access to models to follow for environmental stewardship,” said DELEG Bureau of Energy Systems Director Amy Butler.
DELEG currently works with cities through its Michigan Green Communities Challenge and wants participating communities to share their experiences to help mentor others. The Green Communities Challenge is a statewide initiative from DELEG and the Michigan Municipal League, co-sponsored by the Michigan Townships Association and Michigan Association of Counties, that assists participating communities to adopt policies and programs of energy efficiency and conservation. Participating communities are awarded points and “green stars” for engaging in and reporting green activities.
“We have many Green Communities Challenge participants with a lot of first-hand experience,” Butler said. “So when we were approached by MSU to take the partnership to the next generation – we realized it was the perfect solution to provide the seeds and facilitators to enable communities to achieve their goals. Now our communities have the opportunity to share their experience and create their strategies for becoming green.”
Information that will be shared includes:
- Access to steps on how to get started
- How to benchmark their goals and successes
- Share best practices
The website benefits not only communities but also businesses, schools, businesses, and non-profit organizations interested in becoming more green.
“This site would be of interest to anyone interested in environmental issues who wants to interact online,” Butler said. “Our goal is to touch every community in Michigan to improve energy efficiency and sustainability.”
To join the discussion:
- Step 1 – Visit www.MichEEN.org.
- Step 2 – Click “Join Now” at the top right of the Home page.
- tep 3 – Follow the easy directions for creating an account. Complete your profile and decide which items to share with all users or with your “connections” and which to keep private.
- Step 4 – Post questions and provide answers on the community forums. Join a group working on your issues. Add your insight to the energy blogs.
- Step 5 – Visit the site often to gain and share knowledge to meet Michigan’s energy challenges.
The project was funded by a grant from the Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund administered by the Michigan Public Service Commission, and funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (Recovery Act) administered by the DELEG Bureau of Energy Systems.
Source: Michigan Dept. of Energy, Labor, & Economic Growth (DELEG)