New Energy Efficient Lighting Will Boost Job Growth in Michigan LED lighting workshop emphasizes energy savings and performance of advanced technology which will lead to job growth for participating Michigan companies

DETROIT, Aug. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- There is positive, sustainable job growth on the immediate horizon for Michigan directly related to the adoption of solid-state lighting initiatives. A group of Michigan building owners and operators, from both the public and private sectors, met in Detroit today to learn about using light emitting diodes (LEDs) in lighting projects or building retrofits to achieve energy savings and improve performance.

Attendees at the workshop learned that LEDs and other advanced lighting have an enormous potential to reduce the amount of energy used, and money spent, in lighting Michigan homes, businesses, and factories. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the nation as a whole will reduce the amount of energy used for lighting by 46%, relative to 2010, because of the growing adoption of LED lighting.

"Michigan is on the cusp of becoming a manufacturing leader in one of the advanced technologies of the 21st century," said Jay Wrobel, Executive Director, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. "New energy efficient lighting technologies provide an ideal platform for new jobs and energy savings in Michigan."

"This new lighting technology is already having an impact in our state," said Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal. "For example, Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids is saving $170,000 a year after retrofitting their hospital parking garages and those cost savings will benefit the hospital for years to come." 

The workshop was hosted by DTE Energy, organized by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and developed in partnership with the Michigan Energy Office, the Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association (MSSLA) and NextEnergy. MSSLA's involvement demonstrates the potential economic impact of advanced lighting technology in Michigan for consumers and industry; the LED industry in Michigan is vibrant, growing with the technology, and a source of job growth.

Michigan homeowners and business owners are in a strong position to realize the savings offered by solid-state lighting, as well as many other efficiency opportunities. Michigan's Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act (Public Act 295 of 2008) established a mechanism for the state's rate payers to invest in both electric and gas energy efficiency. By 2015, more than $270 million will be invested annually in efficiency in Michigan (this number is derived from the utility plans filed with MPSC and MEEA analysis); these funds can help offset the initial cost of facility upgrades.

In addition to the direct financial benefit of reduced operating costs for Michigan homes, businesses and manufacturing facilities, the expansion of the solid-state lighting market is also helping to stimulate job creation within the state. The Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association is comprised of 29 companies and organizations, representing manufacturers, distributors, and partners based in the state and poised to take the lead in American LED manufacturing.

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. The workshop was organized with support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Technical Information Network for Solid-State Lighting.

If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MEEA Executive Director Jay Wrobel, please contact Jacob Hannan at 312-673-2487 or via email at jhannan@mwalliance.org.

SOURCE Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance



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