Federal energy program reaches 1,000 homes in Southeast Michigan
With high temperatures rolling across the region, over 1,000 metro Detroit homeowners are feeling a little cooler thanks to home improvements they made through the Department of Energy’s BetterBuildings challenge. The program, locally called BetterBuildings for Michigan, helps people weatherize their homes and invest in energy-saving measures including efficient heating and air conditioning systems.
The 1,000th home represents a big milestone in the $30M grant that was awarded to the region in 2009. Funds are available to weatherize 3,000 more homes in the area by the end of the year. Residents of Detroit and 23 other cities in Southeast Michigan are eligible to participate.
So far the average homeowner is expected to save $235 per year on their energy bills, often with simple home improvement measures like sealing air leaks and installing a programmable thermostat. 20% of residents have gone beyond these basic measures and used the program’s financing to insulate their homes or purchase energy-efficient appliances.
In addition to keeping money in metro Detroiters’ pockets, the energy savings add up to a big environmental benefit for the region. The program is keeping 1,240 metric tons of CO2 per year out of the atmosphere—the equivalent of not burning 140,000 gallons of gasoline. Particularly in a season of power outages and air pollution warnings, this helps reduce the burden on our energy systems.
“Energy efficiency is a win-win-win. You save money, reduce energy use and create jobs,” said Jacob Corvidae of the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, which operates the program locally. He added, “And the best part is that your house is more comfortable. It can make a big difference, even in the summer.”
Residents interested in weatherizing their homes with BetterBuildings for Michigan should contact the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office at 313-566-4801 or visit www.regionalenergyoffice.org to sign up.
For Immediate Release: July 3, 2012
Contact: Gillian Ream
Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office
Twitter: @SEMREO #BetterBuildingsMI
Click on image to view and download high-resolution photos. All photos courtesy of Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.
Energy efficiency incentive program offering $3,000 for home improvements to Ypsilanti residents, by Tom Perkins, AnnArbor.com, 18 June 2012.
Retrofits: A profile of Jacob Corvidae, by Chris Killian, BeLight (Kalamazoo College Alumni Magazine),18 May 2012.
Program offers 4,000 in area incentives to reduce energy bills, by Louis Aguilar, The Detroit News, 12 April 2011.
WARM Training Center’s Jacob Corvidae on Making Neighborhoods Energy Efficient, Craig Fahle Show, WDET 101.9 FM, 30 November 2011. (audio)
BetterBuildings for Michigan uses a community approach to deliver energy efficiency improvements for homes and businesses by providing access to incentives and affordable loans. The program is supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and developed by the Michigan Energy Office; Michigan Saves; the City of Grand Rapids; the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit; and the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.