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MLUI Report: The Power of Energy EfficiencyPrint

Clean Energy | September 30, 2013 | By Jim Dulzo

INTRODUCTION: More Efficiency Means More Prosperity
Energy efficiency puts our contractors to work; boosts local retail sales; keeps more of residents’ hard-earned dollars in town; increases property values; makes the community more attractive; and by lowering overall energy demand, slows the rise of everyone’s energy costs.

HOMES: Residents Cheer Cozier Homes, Lower Heating Bills
The two-year TCSaves program was—and is—good news for Traverse City: It kept local contractors and building supply wholesalers busy. Now it’s saving energy dollars for homeowners and keeping some of those dollars in town.

BUSINESSES: Public-Private Partnerships Power Business Efficiency
Money-saving energy efficiency projects like Britten’s are increasingly common both locally and nationally as businesses look for ways to boost their bottom lines. The payoffs can be gratifying.

JOBS: Efficiency Work Keeps Contractors Busy
For close to two years, more than a dozen home energy assessors, contractors, and workers from three local companies have made the city-sponsored pilot home-efficiency program tick. The success stories—and the jobs and savings they produce—could multiply dramatically.

POLICY: Mandates Drive Efficiency Industry
As community leaders in towns like Holland, Ann Arbor, and Traverse City ponder different ways to accelerate efficiency investments by homeowners and businesses, energy services companies—or ESCOs—are emerging as a most effective way to help not only large public buildings save energy, but also private firms with smaller buildings.

MONEY: In Search of Financing--For Everyone
Major home energy efficiency upgrades could become a common sight in Traverse City, once leaders find a very inexpensive, long-term way to finance them.

PIONEERS: Who's Leading the Charge?
Four different communities have reached the same conclusion: When it comes to making and using energy, it’s time to replace business-as-usual with breakthrough innovation. But each community is also traveling a somewhat different path to a better energy future. 

CONCLUSION: Traverse City Can Be A Leader
TCSaves showed that a well done, public-private residential energy program can reach many homeowners, make them more comfortable and lower their utility bills, produce good-paying jobs, keep more cash in the local economy, increase home values, and make financial sense. 

(Click to enlarge) Homeowners and businesspeople who improve their buildings' efficiency gain comfort, receive strong returns on their investments, create good-paying jobs, have more spendable income, and cut air pollution.