There are moments in all of our lives, both personal and professional, when it’s time to “put your money where your mouth is.” It’s so easy to be idealistic and wish for things to be better and for our dreams to just come true, but in reality you have to put something into life in order to get anything out of it.
That’s why I was impressed and delighted to hear that Traverse City Light and Power, TC’s municipal utility, is doing just that with its new Power of Art Contest.
TCL&P is looking for short videos (under five minutes) that demonstrate the importance of energy efficiency. Two winners—one student and one community member—will each pick up a $500 prize.
What makes this contest so meaningful is that TCL&P has already committed to energy efficiency beyond what the state requires.
In fact, the TCL&P board of directors recently directed its staff to exceed the state utility efficiency mandate by setting a goal of cutting energy use by 1.75 percent per year.
That may not sound like much, but keep in mind that the state’s standard is 1% percent per year and that 2 percent per year is considered the gold standard in the energy industry.
The beauty of efficiency is that all of those saved “energy dollars” go right back into the local economy—maybe even back into the local food economy, which has even further economic benefit.
Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!
It turns out that saving energy is the best way to save money, create jobs, and supports the local economy. A report released by the Michigan Public Service Commission last December shows that every dollar invested in saving energy yields more than four dollars in savings to ratepayers.
That’s quite a return on investment, so those of us lucky enough to be TCL&P ratepayers should be celebrating our muni’s higher efficiency goal.
And, if you’ve got the skills, I’d say—get your camcorder, video cam, smart phone, or Flip cam out and demonstrate the Power of Art. Help spread the message about the value in saving energy, saving money, and supporting the local economy in northwest Michigan.
The rules and complete details can be found on TCLP’s website. Entries must be submitted by March 23, so if you are thinking about participating, it’s time to get filming!