Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG) Director Steven Hilfinger announced Thursday (March 3rd) that DELEG has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants for neighborhood weatherization projects in six Michigan communities: Dewitt and Bath Townships, City of Marquette, St. Joseph County, Traverse City and City of Wyandotte.
The grants, totaling $1,417,500, will include nine neighborhood weatherization “sweeps” in the competitively-selected communities. Each sweep will include 420 homes and each project will include two sweeps except for Traverse City which is doing one. The purpose of the pilot project is to deliver residential energy retrofits to homes, and drive uptake of energy efficiency measures in the state.
One competitively-selected organization, Clean Energy Coalition of Ypsilanti, received a grant for $167,865 to act as coordinator for the sweeps for the nine non-entitlement community neighborhood energy efficiency retrofits through the BetterBuildings for Michigan program. Clean Energy Coalition will work with the communities, BetterBuildings for Michigan project management and other partners. The project is scheduled to begin in March 2011 and be completed by June, 2013.
“It is clear that Michigan’s buildings are in need of energy efficiency improvements, however installing retrofits and making changes haven’t been a priority for many home and business owners. This pilot program is an innovative way to provide the tools to create a sustainable energy efficiency market in diverse communities across our state that will help business and home owners at the grassroots level to make retrofits to save money and conserve energy,” said Hilfinger.
The grants are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The Recovery Act funds projects that will create and retain jobs, save energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Energy efficiency is our first choice and least expensive option in order to reduce energy use, preserve our natural resources and environment and invigorate the economy,” said Amy Butler, director of DELEG’s Bureau of Energy Systems which administers the grant. “We will be able to use a community approach to increase demand at the local level, while at the state level we are providing a skilled energy efficiency workforce to meet that demand, and the tools for lenders to make ongoing investments in energy efficiency in residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings.”
DELEG partners with BetterBuildings of Michigan, which uses a community approach to deliver energy efficiency improvements to homes and businesses by providing access to incentives and affordable loans. The program is supported by the Recovery Act and developed by DELEG; Michigan Saves; the City of Grand Rapids; the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit; and the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.
Source: News release from Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth