JACKSON, Mich., Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 1,300 places of worship and nonprofit organizations across Michigan will save at least $1.5 million on their energy bills next year, benefitting from a 4-year-old campaign by Consumers Energy to help them put more money toward helping those in need.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to help organizations that form the backbone of the Michigan communities we serve," said Tim Sparks, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy supply operations. "These nonprofits are making use of energy efficiency upgrades that we provide for free, eliminating any upfront costs and reducing their energy bills for years to come."
Consumers Energy's Nonprofit and House of Worship Initiative has been in place for four years, helping food pantries, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, churches, senior centers and many others. Consumers Energy provides energy efficiency upgrades as a free service to nonprofits and houses of worship, along with incentives for projects totaling over $975,000 in 2016.
"We are proud to have Consumers Energy as one of our partners in our fight to reduce hunger and food insecurity for children, families and seniors in our Michigan communities," said Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest, based in Oak Park, which supports 250 emergency food providers in metro Detroit.
A look at the Consumers Energy's work with nonprofits, by the numbers:
- 1,328 – Nonprofits and houses of worship that Consumers Energy has helped since 2013
- $2.375 million – Money spent by Consumers Energy on these energy efficiency projects
- $1.57 million -- Annual energy savings for these organizations
Consumers Energy's energy efficiency effort for nonprofit organizations has grown in each of the past four years, helped by collaboration with Michigan Interfaith Power and Light to identify houses of worship that can reduce their costs. Consumers Energy was able to help 285 houses of worship in 41 counties reduce costs this year alone.
These nonprofit organizations also are benefitting from energy efficiency upgrades that can help businesses and households to lower their energy bills. The company has helped its Michigan customers save over $1 billion through energy efficiency since 2009.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
Help for nonprofits
BROAD IMPACT: Consumers Energy provided free energy efficiency upgrades to 541 nonprofits and houses of worship in 41 counties across Michigan this year. Top three communities:
- Kent County – 115 projects
- Genesee County – 83 projects
- Jackson County – 42 projects
In their words
"The LED lighting project was one of the best moves that I've made here at Our Lady of the Lake parish. The incentive from Consumers Energy was the only reason that we were able to afford to do a project of this scale. Besides making the sanctuary much brighter, the change has saved us a considerable amount of time and money. All in all, this was a great project, only made doable because of the Consumers Energy incentive."
Mary Mapes, business manager,
Our Lady of the Lake Church, Holland
"Not only did the program save us the cost of installation of infrared heaters, it will save our agency over the long term for the cost of utilities. Those funds we save with the program are able to go back into our mission and support more people in the community. We can't say thank you enough."
Christopher R. Girard, president /CEO, Do-All Inc., Bay City
"My relationship with Consumers Energy started when I called to inquire about the possibility of changing our thrift store lighting to LED lighting. A big thank you goes out to all of the people who work at Consumers Energy for all that you do for us who live and work in Michigan, and your efforts in this should not go unrecognized.
Jerry Van Solkema, treasurer,
Bibles for Missions Thrift Center, Jenison
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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SOURCE Consumers Energy