Newsletter: Michigan EIBC Members Testify Before Senate Committee

This newsletter was originally published on August 28, 2015.

Michigan EIBC Members Testify Before Senate Committee

The Senate Energy and Technology Committee took testimony Wednesday on Senate Bill 438. The legislation, which is part of a two bill package, would repeal the renewable portfolio standard, phase out the energy optimization standard for electric utilities, and eliminate net metering in Michigan. Several came to testify, including three Michigan EIBC member companies.

Brian Pageau, President of Midwest Energy Group, spoke about the necessity of keeping the energy optimization standard in order to achieve achieving real energy waste reductions, and also the role of supportive public policy in preserving Michigan’s growing energy management industry. Pageau, a Michigan EIBC board member, shared the story of one of his clients, Walters Gardens, which was able to take advantage of the energy optimization program to reduce the energy consumption of their wholesale perennial flower growing operation. Pageau explained that without the right incentives businesses will not take the necessary steps to reduce energy waste.

Scott Viciana, Vice President of Business and Sales at Ventower Industries, testified on the success of the renewable energy standard in lower rates, offering a hedge value to the volatility of fossil-fuel generation, and creating jobs. Viciana is also a member of the Michigan EIBC Board of Directors.

Prasad Gullapali, President of Srinergy, spoke about the need to maintain Michigan’s net metering laws, and told legislators that eliminating the program will completely destroy an entire industry – an industry that has grown another 25 percent this year alone.

The Committee also heard testimony from DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, and the Edison Electric Institute, who testified on behalf of investor-owned utilities and focused almost entirely on net-metering laws. Representatives of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, and a number of others.

There will be at least one more week on testimony for SB 438. Legislators still need to hear from you! Here are two ways to make sure your business voice is heard:

  1. Testify at next week’s Senate Energy and Technology Committee hearing. Michigan’s current energy policies have led to $3 billion in investment, saved ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and are growing at double digit annual rates. Join Michigan EIBC at next week’s committee hearing and make your voice heard. (And better yet, contact Greg Moore in Senator Nofs’s office and ask to be put on the agenda.)
  2. Send your Senators a letter sharing your views on the proposed legislation. This legislation would eliminate the state’s energy efficiency programs, eliminate the renewable energy standard, and eliminate net metering for solar customers. They need to hear from you! You can find your Senator here (and make sure to contact the Senator who represents both your home and your business!).


SAVE THE DATE: Michigan Energy Innovators Gala Set for November 10, 2015

Michigan EIBC is pleased to announce that the third annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will take place on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing. This event is the opportunity for Michigan’s advanced energy industry to pay tribute to and recognize those businesses, policymakers, and others who are doing the most to build the industry in Michigan.

Tickets for the Gala are now available, and the keynote speaker and other details will be announced soon.

There are also sponsorship opportunities available. Contact Nicole Forward for more information.


New/Renewing Members

Four Elements Energy

Four Elements Energy designs and installs renewable energy systems such as wind power, solar electric power, solar air heating and solar water heating systems for governmental, commercial and residential clients.


Michigan Energy News

State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) and State Representative Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) – the ranking Democrats on the Senate and House energy committees, wrote an opinion piece on the importance of increasing the renewable and efficiency standards.

Michigan Radio has a piece on homeowner backlash from the proposed elimination net metering changes.

Garry Boyd, the vice president of food, beverage and cultural innovation at Grand Rapids-based BarFly Ventures, wrote an opinion article in the Lansing State Journal about the importance of cleaner energy.

MLive has a piece on the Michigan International Speedway’s purchase of renewable energy.

Midwest Energy News reports state Representative Gary Glenn (R-Midland) is working on a legislative package that would lift the current cap on net metering, and allow people to purchase renewable energy through an independent energy supplier outside of the 10% energy choice market.


National Energy News

Utility Dive has a piece on how SolarCity is working to help utilities plan for better resources

Utility Dive also has a piece on how to build a utility of the future.

The American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) wrote a whitepaper on how Ohio’s decision to freeze its energy efficiency standard erased projected ratepayer savings, forcing utility customers to pay more.


Upcoming Michigan Energy Events

Learn about Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing at a free panel discussion, “Keeping PACE with Energy Efficiency in Michigan,” on Wednesday, September 9 from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center, Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids.

The September Michigan Energy Forum meeting will be held Thursday, September 10 from 5-7pm at Ann Arbor SPARK. The theme for the September meeting is “Michigan Solar Industry Update – Policy and Market Trends.” Michigan EIBC Vice President for Policy and Business Engagement Liesl Eichler Clark is organizing the event. The event is free to attend; registration deadline is Friday, September 4.
The Battery Show Exhibition and Conference will be held September 15-17 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. The event is also home to the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo.
The Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance is hosting a seminar, “Keeping U.P. on Energy,” on Wednesday, September 16, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. Register here.
The Annual UP Energy Summit will take place Wednesday, September 30 in Marquette. Michigan EIBC is hosting a pre-Summit UP Networking Reception on Tuesday, September 29 from 4:00-6:00 at the Landmark Inn in Marquette. The reception, which will feature a policy update and a look at innovation and clean tech in the UP, is free for Michigan EIBC members and $25 for non-members.
The October Michigan Energy Forum meeting will take place Thursday, October 1 at Ann Arbor SPARK. The theme for the October meeting is Waste-to-Energy.
Michigan EIBC will be hosting their next West Michigan Advanced Energy Business Networking Event on Thursday, October 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Register here.

The 2015 Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, featuring the Michigan Solid State Lighting Association Annual Symposium, will take place Wednesday, October 29 in Lansing.
SAVE THE DATE: The 3rd Annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala will be held Tuesday, November 10 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Individual tickets can be purchased here. Contact Nicole Forward for more information on table purchases and other sponsorship opportunities.

Upcoming National Energy Events

Solar Power International will be held this year from September 14-17 in Anaheim, California.
The ACEEE National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource will take placeSeptember 20-22 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Fortune’s ’Brainstorm E: Where Energy, Technology, and Sustainability Meet’ will take place September 28-29 in Austin. 

Additional Resources

Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is home to PowerSuite, a 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. Subscription required. is a 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 is offering 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 Department of Energy has offers free public access to accepted peer-reviewed manuscripts or published scientific journal articles from projects funded by the DOE within 12 months of publication.