The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced its 2010 rankings of metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings. Detroit jumped six spots from the 2009 list into ninth place. Energy Star buildings must meet certain energy-efficiency criteria and be certified each year by an independent professional. The EPA estimates that the owners of metro Detroit's 151 Energy Star buildings are saving nearly 19 million dollars annually because of increased efficiencies.
EPA provides a searchable map that allows you to find Energy Star buildings in and around your community. Spread the word about this program to local school board members, business owners and other building owners and let's see if Michigan's metro areas can keep climbing the rankings in 2011.
Luke Forrest is Project Coordinator for the Center for 21st Century Communities. Contact him at 734-669-6323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth recently announced an opportunity for communities with fewer than 35,000 residents to participate in the BetterBuildings for Michigan program. BetterBuildings is an initiative targeted at upgrading the energy efficiency of private homes. The State and its partner organizations will coordinate a team of contractors who will go door-to-door within selected neighborhoods, offering home energy audits and then presenting financing options for improvements. They are looking for up to nine additional communities to participate. Local governments selected will receive grants of $157,500 for local outreach and marketing of the program as well as for some program administration. An individual government may be awarded more than one grant to support multiple neighborhoods within its borders. Local and regional partnerships and related energy initiatives will be a key criteria for selection.
See the State RFP for more details. Applications are due November 19. League staff has been involved in the development of this program and is available to answer questions you may have as you consider applying, particularly questions related to the contractor and financing support network in your region. Contact Luke Forrest by email or by calling 734-669-6323.