Michigan Local Governments Embrace Energy Efficiency, Upcoming 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference

Welcome to the weekly newsletter of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Michigan EIBC), the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan. Here’s what’s new this week:

Energy Efficiency Action Is Growing Among Michigan Local Governments, U of M Survey Finds

Michigan local governments are pursuing energy efficiency measures, like energy audits and benchmarking, at a rate more than twice the rate 10 years ago, according to a new survey released by the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy.

About half of the local governments surveyed said they had taken steps to improve energy efficiency in their facilities, up from just 22% in 2010, the survey found. In addition, 72% of those that have taken action said they plan to make further improvements. Meanwhile, 40% have changed work practices (such as regulating thermostats), up from 22%, and 13% have developed or purchased renewable energy resources, up from 5%.

Interest in efficiency was particularly strong among larger counties and municipalities. The survey found that 70% of local governments representing a jurisdiction with over 30,000 people pursued efficiency measures.

Michigan’s state government recently made a major step toward saving energy with an initiative that Gov. Whitmer announced last summer, which included a pilot program to conduct energy audits at state-owned facilities with the largest energy footprints.

Check out the full survey

Register Now for the 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference on April 22

We are pleased to announce that registration is open for Michigan EIBC’s 8th Annual Energy Innovators Conference – our most popular event of the year! – to be held April 22 at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing. The event brings together leaders in Michigan’s advanced energy industry, utility executives, policymakers, regulators and others.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Find more information here.

This event will likely sell out, so get your tickets now at this link. There is a limited-time Early Bird 10% discount on individual tickets through January 31, 2020. Please use the promo code ENERGY2020 at checkout.

Previously known as the Annual Member Meeting, last year’s conference featured Vince Faherty, Head of Northeast and Midwest Energy Partnerships at Google, as keynote speaker, Stay tuned for details on panelists, the keynote speaker and the schedule for the 2020 conference. 

Michigan Energy News

  • Michigan EIBC member Ranger Power meets with the Montcalm Economic Alliance about its proposal to build a 1,200-acre solar project in Montcalm County.
  • The Ann Arbor Office of Sustainability and Innovations announces the A2Zero initiative, which will engage the public and partners on ways for the city to become carbon-neutral.
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow announces $773,000 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Michigan farmers to become more energy-efficient.
  • Consumers Energy says it has approved nearly 400 rebates for EV charging stations at homes and public locations in Michigan.
  • Owners of hybrid vehicles and EVs in Michigan pay a disproportionate amount of fees, according to a report from the Ecology Center.
  • Zeeland Public Schools receives four electric buses, funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

National Energy News

  • Three-quarters of new U.S. power generating capacity will be from renewable energy sources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
  • A new study says that a build-out of transmission lines around the country is urgently needed to help states meet renewable energy goals.
  • Florida Light & Power will install a battery in Miami that is big enough to power 7,000 homes for four hours.
  • Four Connecticut towns want to form a community choice aggregation in order to jointly buy electric and gas supply, energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.
  • A new bill proposed in Indiana would block coal plants from retiring early unless directed to do so by the Trump administration.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy has a new Energy Storage Grand Challenge to try to shore up a U.S. domestic supply chain for storage.

Michigan Energy Events

The Institute for Energy Innovation’s next Energy 101 Lunch & Learn session is Jan. 28 in Lansing at the Michigan House Office Building, focusing on “Cost Declines and Technological Innovations in Advanced Energy.” RSVP here. This event is for Michigan state legislators, legislative staff, and Michigan EIBC members only.

Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities is holding the 15th Annual Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy, a one-day conference that makes participants eligible for continuing education credits, on Feb. 21.

National Energy Events

Infocast’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit is in San Diego from Feb. 4 to Feb. 6, 2020.

The CLEANPOWER 2020 expo, organized by the American Wind Energy Association, will be in Denver from June 1 to 4, 2020. See registration options now.


 The United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is seeking applications for its Rural Energy for America Program, which makes loan guarantees and grants available for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, energy audits and more. The deadlines to apply for renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grants are Oct. 31, 2019, and March 31, 2020, while applications for loan guarantees are accepted year-round. Find out more here.

The Michigan Energy Office’s Small Manufacturers Energy Waste Reduction Incentive Pilot is offering rebates of up to $15,000 per company for small manufacturers that can implement energy efficiency activities between Oct. 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020. There is a 100% minimum match requirement. Click here to learn more about eligibility and apply.