The Peoples Gas Public Sector Energy Efficiency Program sought to deliver meaningful improvements to key customers with city and county buildings, schools, facilities and more. ‘Beating the Barriers’ originated to fit this need. This approach relied on the pivotal relationship with a key customer partner: Chicago Public Schools. The resulting two-year impacts of our approach were unprecedented program participation leading to the delivery of almost $6 million in incentives to save 3.5 million therms within 452 public sector buildings in Chicago.
The Think! Energy program was conducted by National Energy Foundation in classrooms across Michigan on behalf of Consumers Energy and its collaborating utility partners. In 2019, 34,267 families received energy efficiency kits from Consumers Energy through Think! Energy programs, and over 35,000 students and teachers received classroom presentations. During the pandemic in 2020, 35,879 households were still able to receive in-person or virtual presentations, educational materials, and energy efficiency kits. The program teaches students in grades 4-6 to Think! About energy, Talk! To their families about ways they can use less energy and Take Action! with their energy kits and wise behaviors to reduce energy use and save money.
As part of its commitment to supporting low-income communities through the COVID-19 crisis, Greenlite has measurably expanded the reach of its Utility-Funded Food Bank Programs for Energy Efficiency, particularly in the Midwest, where Greenlite is the key partner for 10+ MEEA Members across 5 Midwest states. Greenlite’s Food Bank Programs showcase one of the ways that the Woman & Minority-Owned company has successfully made advanced technology available to income-disadvantaged consumers to save significant energy and money. With 8M ENERGY STAR products distributed in the Midwest through Food Banks in 2020, this campaign has inherent energy and cost-savings benefits for the region, and tremendous long-term benefits through the power of energy-efficiency education to hard-to-reach demographics. Greenlite’s partnerships with Food Banks including Feeding America and Second Harvest have allowed the company to work with over 10,000 organizations that serve the hunger relief industry including food shelves, food pantries, senior organization, and more. By distributing 8M ENERGY STAR LED Bulbs this year through MEEA Partner Utilities Programs, this campaign has reduced energy consumption specifically in the Midwest by 272,000,000 kWh this year alone. In addition, 65,000 Water Saving Products results in water savings of 27,690,000 kWh annually, and 276,900,000 kWh over the span of ten years.
In 2020, DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy company providing utility services to 2.2 million electric customers and 1.3 million gas customers, identified a need to further support the limited income community in Detroit and across the State of Michigan. DTE established aggressive budget, savings and participation goals for the Energy Efficiency Assistance (EEA) program. Meeting these goals provided income-qualified customers with high efficiency equipment, weatherization services and direct install measures, delivered through more than 30 community action, nonprofit and government agencies.
Teaming up with partners SEEL and ICF, DTE optimized outreach for the EEA program in 2020 by targeting customers enrolled in DTE billing assistance programs, providing funding for health and safety work to reduce project walkaways, partnering with local government agencies and nonprofits to amplify program impact, and leveraging food banks for LED distributions in impoverished communities. DTE invested more than $14 million in incentives to support single family, limited-income customers across gas and electric territory through the efforts of the partnering agencies. This resulted in more than 5,000 customer applications processed in 2020, yielding over 50,000 MCF and 7,000 MWH in annual energy savings.
With the economic hardships felt by so many Michiganders during the pandemic this past year, DTE doubled down on its commitment to serve its most vulnerable customers with safe, reliable and affordable energy, when the need for assistance is greater than ever.
America’s Greenest Zoo, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, has teamed up with key partners Donovan Energy and Groundwork Ohio River Valley on an ambitious LED project to make their urban, low-income home community of Avondale the most energy-efficient neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. By gaining trust, building relationships, and connecting closely to their neighbors, the project is allowing them to share the Zoo’s deep experience and commitment to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, all while inspiring community members to go green and providing them with much needed cost savings at the same time.
Since 2017, thanks to $725,000 in grants from the Duke Class Benefit Fund, the Zoo has transitioned its campus to 100% LED and installed LED lighting in Avondale buildings, homes, churches, and outdoor areas. At least 25 commercial entities and over 100 residences have been upgraded, saving Avondale over $1 million in energy bills and maintenance within the next 5 years.
Light Up Avondale also provides Groundwork Ohio River Valley’s Green Corps, a green workforce development program for young adults, the opportunity to increase their skills in energy efficiency, data collection, customer service, and lighting technologies while connecting to the Zoo’s neighbors. The impact of Light Up Avondale goes beyond LED light bulbs. It has built strong relationships among the Zoo’s partners and their community, increased opportunity for energy efficiency and financial savings, and provided workforce development for our region’s young adults.
A major component of providing a ready and resilient force is providing sustainable facilities and infrastructure that serve to train and house our soldiers. Maximizing the efficiency of our facilities ensures that they are economically and environmentally sound and remain assets to our soldiers and communities. The Minnesota Army National Guard prides itself as a leader in promoting energy, water, and waste conservation and reduction practices. Our commitment to leadership in environmental sustainability serves as a vital part of being mission ready and allows us to be good stewards of our environment.
The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program introduced a midstream lighting program, Instant Discounts, to its commercial and industrial customers in 2011 to promote energy efficiency and increase program participation by removing prescriptive paperwork barriers. The program has a market-friendly approach that works for ComEd customers and lighting distributors. Instant Discounts is a tremendous success – saving an estimated 1,056 GWh over the past five years – and acts as a gateway to future projects that help customers save energy.
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. Since 2008, the Ameren Illinois energy efficiency programs have helped our customers save over $850 million in energy costs, providing an economic boost to residents and businesses throughout central and southern Illinois. Over the next several years, the company will invest in a groundbreaking initiative to provide energy-saving benefits to more moderate- and low income customers. In addition, Ameren Illinois has committed to help develop new companies and create new local job opportunities in the energy efficiency arena across downstate Illinois.