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Southeast Michigan Goes Solar!

Residential solar PV system in Michigan

The Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office recently launched its Southeast Michigan Goes Solar initiative, designed to give regional homeowners easy, simple, and reliable access to a turnkey package of solar panels, installation, and financing for their homes. Here are the key features of the program: Lower costs: SEMREO reduces equipment and installation costs for homeowners by Read more…

Protecting Municipal Energy Efficiency

Power lines in SE Michigan

In the wake of our tremendous success advocating for LED streetlight rates that reward energy efficiency investments, SEMREO is launching a new organization to represent municipalities’ interests in utility regulatory matters and in their direct dealings with utilities. Municipalities in Michigan have too little control over energy costs, providers and technologies. Energy costs can eat Read more…

MPSC Rate Case Victory!

Local LED streetlights

On Tuesday, January 31st 2017, SEMREO’s Michigan Street Lighting Coalition (MSLC) won a long-fought battle on DTE Electric rate case U-18014 that increased the savings gained from LED streetlights compared to older lighting technologies. Below is an example of the savings an “average” municipality with 1,000 DTE-owned streetlights can gain due to MSLC’s advocacy in Read more…

SEMREO Alum Appointed Sustainability Director

An urban farm in Detroit

SEMREO would like to congratulate Joel Howrani Heeres, our former Managing Director, on his appointment as the Director of Sustainability for the City of Detroit! He is the first to have ever been appointed to this role in the newly established Sustainability Office and will work to strengthen Detroit’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. If Read more…

Funding Municipal Energy Projects

Solar panels on a parking structure in Dearborn, MI

The Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office recently collaborated with the Michigan Community Energy Partnership (including EcoWorks Detroit, SEEDS, and Michigan Energy Options) to conduct an Energy Management and Capital Improvement Planning workshop for regional municipal leaders among other officials. The workshop included presentations about Capital Improvement Plans, incorporating energy projects into Master Plans, Ann Arbor’s Read more…

Networking the Region’s Energy Leaders

REO Meeting

Communities that have a solid strategic approach to energy management take more meaningful and lasting steps toward reducing their energy use and reliance on fossil fuels. Institutionalizing attention to energy issues through the development of sustainability departments and public engagement bodies can help communities focus on cutting edge policies for achieving their goals. The Southeast Read more…

Energy Efficiency and Bond Ratings: An Interview with Tony Lehmann

Tony_Lehmann_crop

The Regional Energy Office provides innovative financing solutions for cities to conduct energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. These projects are designed to save cities money on their energy bills every year, but we recently discovered that these investments were helping cities in other ways as well—energy investments can actually improve a city’s bond rating. Read more…

Two Cities go LED

Hazel Park LED Streetlights 2

Pedestrians and drivers on John R. Road in Hazel Park may notice new fixtures on street lights thanks to energy-saving LED lights the City has installed. These new LED street lights are more efficient than the previous lights, helping the city save energy and money while improving the aesthetics of the downtown area. The project Read more…

Community Energy Plan for the city of Holland

LED Lighting in downtown Holland, Michigan

In 2011, the City of Holland and its utility, the Holland Board of Public Works, embarked on creating a Community Energy Plan, with a target year of 2050, with the following goals: Ensure economic competitiveness; Provide reliable and affordable energy; and, Protect the environment. The energy plan is distinctive because of the level of cooperation Read more…

Civil Rights and Climate Change

shipswheel

[Written on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 2013] Perhaps the most important civil rights issue facing us today is climate change. It completely changes the foundation that all our other questions, concerns and struggles are built upon. If climate change becomes catastrophic, humanity will not die. But those with power and resources will be the Read more…