Now in its 10th year, DTE ENERGY and THE ENGINEERING SOCIETY OF DETROIT hosted a great 2015 version of their annual Energy Conference and Exhibition at Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi on May 5th. With twenty separate educational sessions, a keynote address from Christopher B. McGill, Vice President, Policy Analysis, American Gas Association, Energy Awards and an Exhibition highlighting energy saving technologies, attendees had an abundance of opportunities to network, listen, learn and experience a first class conference and gain several take-aways.
Organizers of the conference understood the diverse audience at previous conferences and took that into consideration when lining up subjects and speakers for this years’ break-out sessions. Attendees could choose from a Technology Track, an Industrial Track, a Commercial Track, a Financial Track and finally, a Construction Track in deciding what subjects most interested them.
Whether an attendee was interested in learning about cutting edge technologies, Energy Optimization Project Case Studies, Advanced Boiler Load Controllers, Performance Contracting or Electric Energy Master Planning on a University Campus, everyone could find a session that interested them. One of the sessions of note included “New Construction and Major Renovation Incentives Available Based On LEED Certification,” which discussed incentives for either deep retrofits or new construction and streamlining the entire process for the end user. More and more buildings are looking at sustainability and LEED certification to showcase the sustainable features of their updated building.
Another well attended event included: “Using PACE to Complete Bigger and Better Efficiency Projects” as offered by Andy Levin, President of Lean and Green. This session covered the statewide financing market being developed for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) projects. It also covered who can use PACE, what it can be used for, some of the qualifying criteria and the true benefits of using PACE vs. traditional financing. If PACE gain traction in Michigan as it has elsewhere (32 states have such legislation/regulation), we will be seeing many more rehabs, retrofits and development using sustainable features and upgraded infrastructure systems placed in buildings.
LUNCH, AWARDS & KEYNOTE
Following conclusion of the concurrent educational sessions, there was a brief awards ceremony honoring those in the aligned green building and servicing industry who have distinguished their companies and themselves by being leaders in their chosen field. Following the awards, the audience had an opportunity to hear from a gas industry expert, Christopher B. McGill from the American Gas Association.
Summarizing Mr. McGills’ presentation, it’s safe to say our domestic energy outlook is much brighter today than it has been in years. The United States has gone from an energy importer over the last 2 generations to an energy exporter recently. Gas imports coming from Canada are declining. Our production of natural gas and the efficiency in which we are able to extract gas using sophisticated technologies and extraction methods have combined to allow production to spike and paint a brighter picture for domestic energy policy far into the future. The United States currently has the largest reserves of natural gas that it has ever had in its entire history. U.S. natural gas energy production has created a great story of saving millions of tons of carbon not having been released into the air. Mr. McGill indicated that this trend will continue for years to come.
Attendees enjoyed dessert in the exhibition hall where conversations continued with vendors, amongst the attendees and with most of the speakers who stayed to further connect with their audience. Those who chose to attend the energy conference and exhibition sponsored by DTE Energy and The Engineering Society of Detroit certainly received more than a normal return on their investment of time, resources and energy. Looking forward to another solid conference and exhibition next year !
ROBERT E. MATTLER, Associate Broker, Attorney and LEED AP BD+C, is Director of Green Brokerage at Armada Real Estate Services in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He speaks, writes and reports about emerging green real estate and development issues in Michigan and elsewhere. Bob is a senior correspondent for www.greeningdetroit.com
For more information, contact Bob at Greening Detroit (248) 762-4370; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org