Newsletter: Governor Snyder Addresses Energy in State of the State; Details to Follow in Marc

This newsletter was originally published on January 19, 2015.

Governor Snyder Addresses Energy in State of the State; Details to Follow in March

Governor Snyder highlighted some familiar energy themes in his State of the State address on Tuesday, while also announcing a new “Agency for Energy” and pledging a more detailed energy message in March. Specifically, the Governor repeated his call to “reduce energy waste” and transition away from coal-fired electricity generation to electricity from natural gas and renewable energy systems. This is consistent with what the Governor has been saying for over a year now, focused on an energy policy framework that is affordable, reliable, protects the environment, and is able to adapt to changes in federal regulations and advances in technology.

In addition, Governor Snyder called for a new “Agency for Energy” that would combine elements of the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Michigan Energy Office, economic development activities at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and other state energy activities. Details for what this new Energy Agency will look like – and what it will be called – are likely to be included in the March Energy Message.

These announcements come during a busy time in the Michigan energy policy discussion. A number of pressures – including the expiration of the state’s renewable mandate, new federal rules on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, new rate design cases at the Michigan Public Service Commission, a pair of cases filed by Consumers Energy and DTE Energy seeking to increase rates, and a projected capacity shortfall facing Michigan (as well as advances in advanced energy technologies, ongoing savings from the state’s efficiency standard, rapid advanced energy cost declines, and growing calls from businesses and residents alike to be able to generate more of their own power from renewable resources) – are contributing to a timely and complicated discussion, and Michigan EIBC looks forward to making sure that industry voices are heard this year as Michigan puts in place its energy policy for the next decade or more.


You’re Invited: Advanced Energy Lobby Day, Reception this Tuesday

Michigan EIBC, together with Advanced Energy Economy, is hosting an Advanced Energy Lobby Day and Reception this Tuesday, January 27, designed to connect industry leaders with the key policymakers who will be deciding energy policy for the state in this legislative session.

The schedule for the day is as follows:

8:30am-1:00pm Energy 101 Briefing for New Legislators (with lunch) – Michigan Municipal League offices, 208 N. Capitol, Lansing

1:00-4:30pm Office visits to key policymakers

4:30-6:30pm Industry/ policymaker reception feat. MPSC Commission Sally Talberg – Troppo, 111 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing (Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served)

To RSVP, please click here.

For more information, email us at


Michigan EIBC in Action

Michigan EIBC works hard to make sure the business voice for advanced energy in Michigan is heard loud and clear where it matters most. This section highlights some of our weekly activities so you can track our activities on your behalf. Any questions or want to make sure we’re aware of a key industry event? Contact us at

  • Michigan EIBC President Dan Scripps moderated a panel of legislators at the AWEA Michigan Wind Forum. Liesl Eichler Clark, Vice President of Policy and Business Engagement, provided the closing remarks for the conference.
  • Scripps and Clark both attended a State of the State watch party on Tuesday night, hosted by Wind on the Wires.
  • Clark participated in an AEE FERC Order 745 Conversation with former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff.
  • Scripps participated in an AEE Energy Efficiency campaign team meeting.
  • Scripps participated in a number of media interviews surrounding the announcement that Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Heisig-Simons Foundation are together investing $48 million in a new Clean Energy Initiative focused on advancing clean energy policy at the state level.


Michigan EIBC Welcomes New Members

Walker-Miller Energy Services (WMES)  is a Detroit-based company that promotes innovative and cost-effective strategies to help individuals and companies meet the demands of an ever-changing energy landscape. WMES’ energy efficiency and sustainable technologies improves infrastructure while also promoting renewable technologies. When performing assessments, WMES utilizes energy efficient products to assist customers lower their energy bills such as LED lights, lighting controls, electronic commutated motors, as well as building envelope air sealing. Its focus is primarily on viewing the facility as a whole building system to activate all areas of energy efficiency applicable for the client. 

Walker-Miller Energy Services is a client-focused company that leverages its significant experience and knowledge on behalf of its customers. WMES serves a wide variety of constituencies such as home owners. small businesses, fortune 500 companies and large-scale utility companies. The management team consists of former energy industry managers, professionals and consultants with decades of experience.

Dr. Energy Saver is committed to improving your home’s year-round comfort, safety, and energy efficiency.

Our comprehensive home energy assessment includes: the expertise of two BPI-certified professionals; blower door test to determine air leakage; infrared camera inspection to identify cold and hot spots; gas and carbon monoxide tests for safety; furnace, air conditioning and hot water heater inspections; crawl space and attic inspections; recommendations for retrofitting your home to save energy, save money and make your family more comfortable.

Some of the cost-effective solutions provided by Dr. Energy Saver are insulation, air sealing, ductwork sealing, heating and cooling, water heaters, windows, doors and more.

Shape Corp. provides innovative engineering solutions with the discipline of flawless execution. The company is a full service, tier-one supplier that designs, engineers, tests and manufactures metal and plastic products. Process and material advancements position Shape as a pioneer in custom roll forming and injection molding. Shape serves an array of industries including automotive, office furniture, medical and agriculture in more than 15 countries. Founded in 1974, Shape remains a privately owned, family company. Shape employs more than 3,000 associates in the United States, China, Mexico, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and India.


Renewing Members

Ventower Industries

Kent County Department of Public Works


Michigan Energy News

  • A group of residents has filed suit against Heritage Sustainable Energy and the U.S. government, seeking to block expansion and require more study on the impacts around the Garden Wind Farm, located on the Garden Peninsula in Delta County, the UP’s first commercial wind farm. The 14 turbines can produce the equivalent of a year’s electricity for half of the households in the county.
  • Invenergy has agreed in concept to build a natural gas-fired power plant serving a mining concern that is by far the UP’s largest employer.
  • Legislation is being prepared by State Rep. Ray Franz of Onekama in the Michigan House that would prohibit offshore wind in the Michigan-owned sections of the Great Lakes, and would also prohibit this siting of wind turbines larger than 100 kW closer than two times the height of the turbine from electrical transmission, distribution, or gathering lines – effectively shutting down wind development in much of the state.
  • On the energy efficiency side, State Rep. Sam Singh of East Lansing has introduced legislation – HB 4055 – that would double the state’s energy optimization standard by 2020.
  • Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell focused much of his final State of the City address on energy and climate issues, including an announcement that Grand Rapids will work to establish a 2030 District by the end of the year. That effort is being led by the Institute for Energy Innovation, Michigan EIBC’s not-for-profit sister organization, as well as the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.


Upcoming Michigan Events 

Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities is hosting its annual Michigan Forum on Economic Regulatory Policy on January 30, 2015 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. Michigan EIBC President Dan Scripps will be presenting.

PlugVolt will be hosting the 2015 Battery Seminar in Plymouth, February 10 – 11, 2015.

Save the Date! Michigan EIBC will be hosting the Annual Members Meeting on April 20, 2015 in Lansing.


Upcoming National Energy Events

MEEA will be hosting their annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference to raise awareness and reinforce the importance of energy efficiency in the Midwest on January 28 – 30, 2015 in Chicago.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s arpa-e Energy Innovation Summit will be held February 9-11, 2015 in Washington D.C.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is sponsoring a Finance and Tax Seminar on February 26-27 in New York, NY.

The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit 2015 is taking place April 13-15, 2015 in New York, NY. The theme for the 2015 Summit is “Opportunities in Transformation.”

The American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual WINDPOWER 2015 Conference and Exposition is being held May 18-21, 2015 in Orlando, FL. The early-bird registration deadline is February 24, 2015, with additional discounts for those who register by January 9. Michigan EIBC will be hosting a Michigan Pavilion at WINDPOWER 2015. If your company is interested in exhibition space as part of the Michigan Pavilion, please contact

U.S. Advanced Energy News

  • The more than half a million homes in the U.S. with photovoltaic solar systems have seen consistently added value, according to a report released by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
  • One out of every 78 new jobs created in the U.S. over the past 12 months was created by the solar industry, with solar growing 20 times faster than the economy as a whole.
  • Amazon will work with Pattern Energy Group to build the Amazon Web Services Wind Farm, which should generate roughly 500,000 megawatt hours of power annually.
  • Groups like Habitat for Humanity are building passive homes that don’t need furnaces and use up to 90 percent less energy than a typical house.
  • President Obama highlighted the growth of renewable energy in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, noting that the U.S. was now “number one in wind energy” and that we produce as much solar power in three weeks as we did in all of 2008 – which may have actually been overly modest!


Advanced Energy Resources

  • The Department of Energy has unveiled a website that will provide free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published scientific journal articles from projects funded by the DOE within 12 months of publication.
  • Advanced Energy Economy, Michigan EIBC’s national partner organization, has launched PowerSuite, a new suite of tools that allows companies a one-stop on-line portal to search, track, and collaborate on state legislation and regulatory proceedings from around the country. PowerSuite includes both BillBoard, the AEE dashboard for managing state legislation, and DocketDash, the AEE dashboard for managing state public utility commission proceedings.
  • First Energy Finance, which includes Michigan EIBC Board Member Rachel Tronstein, launched, a new national solar permitting database that provides information on permitting for solar in jurisdictions across the country. The database includes a variety of information, from average permit turnaround times, to information required to be included in the permit, to contact information for individual jurisdictions. You can browse the requirements for the Michigan cities included in the database here.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy has launched A Guide to Federal Finance Facilities Available for Energy Efficiency Upgrades and Clean Energy Deployment. The downloadable guide provides information about the various federal financing programs available for energy efficiency and renewable energy — making it easier for state, local and tribal leaders, along with their partners in the private sector, to find capital for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
  • The Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker, an online resource developed by Advanced Energy Economy, Michigan EIBC’s national partner, and the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, features a free, searchable database of pending and enacted advanced energy legislation covering electric generation, energy efficiency, infrastructure, energy finance, economic development and other issues.
  • DOE’s Wind Program recently updated its website, expanding its Offshore Wind RD&D webpage to a full section, including content on its portfolio of technology development, market acceleration, and demonstration projects. The program’s offshore wind portfolio is aimed at overcoming key barriers to offshore wind development, including the relatively high cost of energy, the mitigation of environmental impacts, the technical challenges of project installation, and grid interconnection. These pages create a hub for program-funded offshore wind project results, reports, and resources, and will be updated regularly as projects conclude.
  • The Energy Department has launched a new online tool—the Wind Career Map. The map highlights the broad range of careers and required skill sets across the wind industry
  • Consumers Energy has begun accepting applications for residential solar capacity in Phase 26 of the Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). Applications for Phase 26 and 27 must be submitted by 11:59 pm on January 31, 2015 and are available on the EARP website.


Funding Opportunities

  • Apply to participate in Rebuild Michigan, a program that helps commercial property owners reduce energy use, while saving money and improving building quality. Applications will be evaluated as they are received.
  • The Michigan Business Accelerator Fund provides support to organizations providing specialized business acceleration services and resources. Maximum funding is $50,000. Applications will be evaluated as they are received.
  • NextEnergy has launched NextChallenge, a business competition meant to inspire the development of innovative energy solutions. The challenge will address the unique lighting technology needs of Ford Motor Company and RecoveryPark, a major urban farming operation in Detroit. Participants are asked to submit an online Request for Solutions proposal to one, or both, lighting challenges by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 6, 2015. Michigan-based winners are eligible for up to $80,000 cash and/or in-kind support and non-Michigan-based winners are eligible for up to $40,000 in-kind support.
  • The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) through the Energy Office (MEO) is offering small businesses, currently located in Michigan, financial assistance for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy project implementation. Deadline: September 30, 2015 or until funds are exhausted.
  • The SunShot Initiative has released a notice of intent to Issue Solar Energy Manufacturing 2 Funding Announcement.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy will provide loans for projects that employ innovative and renewable or efficient energy technologies. Deadlines: January 14, 2015; December 2, 2015: March 2, 2016
  • MEDC opening funding announcements.
  • Funding opportunities listed on NextEnergy’s website.
  • Financial opportunities from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
  • U.S. Small Business Administration grants.



The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled “ESPC 2.0: How a New Generation of Energy Savings Performance Contracting is Improving Energy Efficiency in U.S. Buildings” on Tuesday, February 3, from 3:00 to 4:00 ET.