Re-Cap of MEECA’s 5th Annual Banquet & Awards Celebration
MEECA executive director David Gard with 2019 Energy Auditor of the Year winner Duane Watson.
On March 6, 2019, nearly 120 people joined MEECA at the MSU Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center for the organization’s annual banquet. Following a networking reception, attendees heard from Michigan’s newest Public Service Commissioner Dan Scripps. In his keynote address, Commissioner Scripps discussed how supportive public policy is vital to the state’s growing EE industry. He also described MEECA as Michigan’s only authentic voice for contractors with a critical role to play in the policy arena.
The evening also featured awards recognizing outstanding performance during the past year. Our 2019 award winners include:
- Building Performance Solutions, Residential Contractor of the Year
- Wright Energy Partners, C/I Contractor of the Year
- ICF, Residential Implementation Contractor of the Year
- DNV GL, C/I Implementation Contractor of the Year
- ARAUCO Graying Particleboard Plant, Project of the Year
- Duane Watson, Energy Advisor of the Year
Click here to view pictures from this year’s event, courtesy of Doug Elbinger with Newman Consulting Group
Special thanks to Title Sponsor DNV GL along with our other sponsors CLEAResult, DTE Energy, 5 Lakes Energy, Consumers Energy, SEEL, Walker-Miller Energy Services, ICF, Energy Sciences, Pure Eco, Development Solutions Midwest, WaterFurnace International, Wright Energy Partners, The Nielsen Group, and Lean & Green Michigan.
Upcoming Residential Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Event
In response to the growing interest in deeper energy savings, MEECA is partnering with other membership organizations on a day of programming focused on achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) performance in new and existing residential buildings.
This event, which will take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, took shape following MEECA’s successful event last year at the IBEW Local 58 ZNE facility in Detroit, and conversations with EE contractors wanting to network with RE contractors, architects, engineers, and others around ZNE projects.
Visit the event website for more information including the day’s agenda. Space is limited so be sure to register soon. (MEECA members: contact David Gard at email@example.com for instructions on a special discount on registration.)
MEECA is pleased to co-host this event with our partners Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA), Michigan Geothermal Energy Association (MGEA), GreenHome Institute (GHI), and others.
In addition, stay tuned for details about a similar event focused on commercial ZNE in Detroit on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.
EE in the News
Reaching Small and Medium Businesses with EE Programs
Energy News Network reports on two recent studies looking at how utilities can reach small and medium businesses with efficiency programs. This sector accounts for about 20 percent of U.S. energy consumption but receive only about 4 percent of utility efficiency spending. Perhaps not surprisingly, the reports conclude there are no short-cuts or one-size-fits-all solutions. A utility program is often considered successful when 5 to 15 percent of eligible customers participate. But many small and medium business programs are barely at 1 percent. To learn more about specific conclusions and recommendations from these studies, click here.
New Energy Efficiency Resource Library
Utility Dive reports on a new online resource that offers guidelines and best practices to help cities reduce building energy use. This project is a partnership between the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The free, interactive toolkit has information in four main areas: understanding building energy use; reaching community stakeholders; prioritizing policies and programs; and communicating progress and results. The library addresses commercial, public, and multi-family buildings.
GM Gets $2.8 Million for Energy Savings at Flint Plants
According to EnergyWire, Consumers Energy has awarded General Motors Co. $2.8 million for energy-saving upgrades at facilities in Flint, MI. GM has already completed 21 projects at its Flint Assembly operation, including a new efficient body shop and lighting upgrades. GM has also made a commitment to power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy. Learn more.
Update on Michigan Utility IIntegrated Resource Planning (IRP)
Public Act 341 of 2016 requires regulated utility companies in Michigan to periodically file integrated resource plans (IRP) that demonstrate how they intend to meet future energy and capacity needs with a mix of supply- and demand-side resources including energy efficiency.
- On March 23, 2019 a proposed settlement agreement was submitted to regulators on Consumers Energy’s latest IRP filing. This agreement reached by the company and multiple stakeholders includes increased spending levels for energy efficiency programs. Read about the agreement here.
- On March 28, 2019, DTE Energy filed its own IRP with the Michigan Public Service Commission. Learn more about the company’s plan including annual energy savings of 1.75 percent, up from a projected 1.5 percent.
Vermont Faces Growing Electricity Demand from Marijuana Industry
Mimicking the effects of the Sun to grow cannabis indoors requires significant energy, or about ten times more energy per square foot that a typical office building. And providing sufficient lighting for plants can be more complicated than for humans. Therefore, given ongoing discussion in Vermont about legalizing cannabis, Efficiency Vermont is focusing more on incentives for greenhouse envelop, dehumidification, HVAC and lighting for the growing industry. To learn more, see this article.
Recap of 2019 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
This year’s premier regional conference in Chicago set a record for attendance. If you were unable to be there, resources including attendee list, speaker presentations and more are now available online. Also from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) is their new and improved Midwest Energy Efficiency Spotlight showcasing the positive impacts that policies and programs have on the region’s EE industry.
Commentary: EE is Vital for Addressing Climate Change
According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investing in reducing the carbon footprint of the building sector is 40 percent more cost-effective than investing in any other sector. In response, Mirella Vitale with ROCKWOOL Group recently called for drastically changing how buildings and homes are constructed and improving our current building stock with energy efficient renovations. This includes using better, more efficient insulation and materials like stone wool. Read Ms. Vitale’s commentary here.
Michigan EIBC Announces New President
The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC) has selected Dr. Laura Sherman as its new president. Dr. Sherman follows former president, Liesl Eichler Clark, who has taken on a new role as the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the state of Michigan. Learn more about Dr. Sherman’s background at the Michigan EIBC website.
Public Policy Update
Code of Conduct Rule 9
This month MEECA attended a stakeholder meeting and submitted written comments on Michigan’s Code of Conduct for Value-Added Programs (VAPS), specifically on proposed Rule 9 dealing with information sharing between regulated utility companies and their unregulated affiliates. For more information about the Code of Conduct, see Case No. U-18361 at the Michigan Public Service Commission website.
Trump administration to roll back regulations for specialty bulb efficiency
National Public Radio reports that the Trump administration plans to undo an Obama-era regulation to make a wide array of specialty lightbulbs more energy efficient. These include bulbs such as decorative globes used in bathrooms, reflectors in recessed lighting, candle-shaped lights and three-way lightbulbs. Read more.
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