Public utility Consumer Energy reported today that its Small Business Energy Efficiency Program has helped over 10,000 establishments across the state lower their costs. Since the program began in 2009, it has also collectively saved small businesses more than $21 million annually, Consumer Energy announced.
The program offers financial benefits to customers who participate voluntarily. Small businesses in Michigan can undergo free assessments that reveal ways to reduce energy usage as well as rebates for upgrades that could help with those reductions, the utility says. Over the past eight years of the program, it has provided more than $35 million in incentives.
Potential upgrades include replacing inefficient lighting with LEDs, adding energy efficient lighting controls, changing refrigeration, and swapping out exterior lights. “The average upgrade in the Small Business Energy Efficiency Program saves enough energy to pay for itself in about a year,” the utility notes.
Dégagé Ministries, a nonprofit homeless shelter in Grand Rapids, became the 10,000th participant in the program, Consumer Energy reported. Through the energy efficiency program, the ministry retrofitted more than 300 light fixtures and installed 700 LEDs. Those changes should save the ministry $5,800 annually. “The money that we are saving on light costs will go toward meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community,” executive director Marge Palmerlee told the utility.
This year is expected to be the busiest one yet for the energy efficiency program. Consumer Energy says it anticipates that 2,600 small businesses total will make upgrades in 2017.