Special New Year’s Edition: 2018 Retrospective
This month’s abbreviated holiday edition of the newsletter provides an opportunity to look back on a productive year for MEECA and our partners. As 2018 draws to a close, we highlight some of our work over the past twelve months in support of our member companies. For more details on these stories, click on the links below for each month to revisit that edition of the 2018 newsletter.
Many thanks to all who supported MEECA’s efforts in 2018, and best wishes as we look ahead to 2019!
January 2018. MEECA convened a reception for members to meet with regulatory leaders from the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) and Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). We heard updates on state policy issues impacting EE contractors and shared information about what our members are up to.
February 2018. MEECA Executive Director David Gard participated in a panel discussion at the 2018 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference in Chicago. The panel, “Good EE Policy for Economic Growth,” gave Gard a regional platform to discuss MEECA’s makeup and role in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder and Louis James, CEO of MEECA member SEEL, both received awards for energy efficiency leadership at the conference.
March 2018. More than 100 people gathered for MEECA’s 4th Annual Awards Gala. Supported by title sponsor DNV GL, this year’s event featured a panel discussion with key MPSC staff members, recognition of outstanding performance with five awards, and plenty of valuable networking.
April 2018. MEECA was invited to lead a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) in Lansing. The panel’s topic was “Demand Destruction: Discussions on Energy Efficiency.” Panelists included Carla Walker-Miller with MEECA member Walker-Miller Energy Services. Executive Director David Gard served as moderator. This provided excellent visibility for MEECA to Michigan’s clean energy industry.
May 2018. MEECA hosted a learning and networking event for nearly 40 people at The Whitney, a landmark restaurant in downtown Detroit. Attendees learned about the facility’s significant energy upgrades and the PACE financing that made it possible. They also took advantage of peer-to-peer networking over appetizer’s in The Whitney’s famous Ghost Bar. MEECA member Newman Consulting Group was instrumental in helping the organization execute this successful event.
June 2018. MEECA submitted written comments to MPSC on draft rules for a new Utility Code of Conduct. This policy issue is of great importance to MEECA members because these rules will govern how utility company affiliates must operate in the unregulated marketplace occupied by EE contractors. MEECA Executive Director David Gard also spoke on behalf of our members at two related public hearings.
July 2018. Nearly 100 golfers participated in MEECA’s second annual summer golf outing headlined by DNV GL. The event served triple-duty as a valuable opportunity for professional networking, a fundraiser for the organization, and a great excuse to get outside on a beautiful summer day! Stay tuned for the date for the 2019 outing at Hawk Hollow Championship Golf Course.
August 2018. In response to a request from our membership, MEECA hosted a training session for the ASHRAE 90.1-2013 updated commercial energy code. MEECA member Energy Sciences provided the technical training and materials. The venue was the Grand Rapids headquarters of MEECA member Behler-Young. Additional support came from the Michigan Energy Office.
September 2018. MEECA shared the stage with Gov. Rick Snyder at the 4th Annual Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards at the Goei Center in Grand Rapids. Executive Director David Gard introduced the finalists for Contractor of the Year at the event which celebrates the achievements of Michigan’s growing energy efficiency industry.
October 2018. MEECA’s annual membership meeting was conducted this year at the Saginaw headquarters of member company Duro-Last. After a formal business meeting at which new board members were announced, attendees were treated to a presentation and information-rich tour of Duro-Last’s manufacturing facility. On hand was MEECA member Development Solutions Midwest to explain the plant’s recent process and building efficiency improvements. These were further explained during a tour of the facility, which happens to manufacture a product for efficient roofing systems. Dinner in nearby Frankenmuth was hosted by Consumers Energy.
November 2018. MEECA convened nearly 40 people at the training facility of IBEW Local 58 in Corktown, Detroit. MEECA members Development Solutions Midwest and The Nielsen Group gave a formal presentation of the recent Zero Net Energy (ZNE) upgrade to the 1960s-vintage facility. Following the presentation were a technical building tour and a networking dinner at Slows BBQ hosted by DTE Energy.
December 2018. MEECA Executive Director David Gard was interviewed as part of a statewide process to improve Michigan’s EE programs for agricultural and rural customers. MEECA was approached to participate as a key stakeholder by the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) with support from Public Sector Consultants and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
Congratulations to all on a successful 2018 for MEECA as we continue to grow the organization!
MEECA’s 5th Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration
If you haven’t done so, be sure to reserve Wednesday, March 6, 2019 on your calendar for MEECA’s premier networking and fundraising event. Sponsorships and tickets are available for purchase at the event website. Be on the lookout soon for a call for award nominations. Contact David Gard at email@example.com with any questions.
EE in the News
DTE Energy and Consumers Energy to Refund $162 Million to Customers
The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has approved total refunds of $162 million to customers of the state’s two largest utility companies. Refunds will begin in January and are the result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Read this article for more information.
Net-Zero Energy Homes Are More Affordable Than Many Think
Longtime builder Bill Decker explains how the economics of net-zero construction can payoff in under ten years in Michigan. This conclusion is supported by a recent study from Rocky Mountain Institute. To learn more about this emerging topic, click here.
Michigan Department of Corrections Saves Energy and Money
According to a recent article in Market Watch, the Michigan Department of Corrections, in partnership with Consumers Energy, has saved $900,000 through energy efficiency upgrades. These results stem from the implementation of nearly two dozen separate projects.
Public Policy Update
New Collaborative to Focus on Commercial Code Compliance
The Michigan Energy Office has invited MEECA to participate in a new stakeholder process called the Michigan Codes Compliance Collaborative. The aim is to improve compliance with the current commercial energy code in Michigan. A kick-off meeting is scheduled for January 10, 2019. If you would like to participate directly in this process, contact David Gard at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Gubernatorial Appointment Opens Seat on MPSC
Governor-Elect Whitmer has selected Michigan Public Service Commissioner Rachael Eubanks to be state treasurer. Ms. Eubanks was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to serve on the MPSC as a utility regulatory commissioner and was unanimously confirmed by the Michigan Senate Energy & Technology Committee. She was the keynote speaker at MEECA’s Annual Gala in 2017. Click here to read the Whitmer administration’s official statement.