DETROIT, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 80 energy leaders from throughout the Midwest – including many local stakeholders such as DTE Energy, the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association and the Michigan Energy Office – gathered in Detroit May 8 and 9 to discuss regional energy issues as part of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's (MEEA) Annual Meeting.
The event provided an occasion for MEEA to celebrate the approximately $1.5 billion regional investment in energy efficiency made in 2012. It also marked the first time the meeting has been held outside Chicago, where MEEA is headquartered.
According to Executive Director Jay Wrobel, MEEA decided to convene in Detroit in 2013 to highlight Michigan's role as a leader in energy efficiency.
"Energy efficiency has been a tremendous economic generator for Michigan," Wrobel said. "Every dollar invested in the state's Energy Optimization Program has generated a return of $3.55 in energy benefits, such as direct savings for consumers and businesses."
Wrobel noted that the state also supports more than 11,000 energy efficiency-related jobs, from green architecture and construction services to occupations related to the production of energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
Other successful Michigan energy efficiency initiatives have included:
- Programs that provide weatherization assistance and other measures to help low-income residents reduce high energy costs.
- Public-private partnerships such as Michigan Saves, which provides affordable financing to help homeowners and businesses make improvements that save money and energy.
- Performance incentives for utilities that exceed mandated savings targets.
"Many of the positive effects of the Energy Optimization Program are just coming to fruition," said Wrobel. "It is essential that Michigan maintain this forward momentum to continue to expand its energy efficiency industry, create new jobs and help Michigan residents reduce their energy bills."
The discussions at MEEA's annual meeting built on the organization's participation earlier this year in Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's series of statewide Energy Forums. MEEA has also had extensive involvement with local energy efficiency priorities through activities such as collaborating on Michigan's Building Energy Codes, conducting a series of Energy Expos and presenting a Solid State Lighting workshop in partnership with the Michigan Energy Office.
About Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance – The Source on Energy Efficiency
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (www.mwalliance.org) is a collaborative network advancing energy efficiency in the Midwest to support sustainable economic development and environmental preservation. MEEA bridges the gap between policy adoption and program implementation.
SOURCE Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance