7-05-2013 Finance ANY Energy Improvements With “Michigan Saves”
Do you have customers ready to install energy improvements but don’t have the cash on hand? Maybe you know of some customers whose businesses could grow and thrive if they could reduce their operating costs? Michigan Saves offers contractors, like you, a convenient way to stand out from your competitors and help your customers finance energy improvements for their home or business.
The program was officially announced by Gov. Snyder last November, so this may be old news, but if you have not heard about the Michigan Saves energy finance program and want to get more business into your pipeline …keep reading.
THE BASICS Michigan Saves
Michigan Saves is a nonprofit (public/private) organization dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable. Michigan Saves has financing programs available from a group of participating lenders, for homeowners, commercial and industrial building across the state that offer loans up to $20,000 for residential and $150,000 for commercial industrial buildings. Of particular interest to contractors is that Michigan Saves screens a network of authorized contractors and other professionals that conduct energy audits and install high-efficiency building improvements and equipment. This may be the solution to get jobs that may have got away due to financing. It’s a lot easier to sell energy improvements, when the financing is this easy to put in place in place.
Buildings and properties that are owned or occupied by businesses or nonprofit organizations located anywhere in the state of Michigan are eligible for the unsecured, low interest, Michigan Saves Business Energy Financing. Typical improvements to the business could include: efficient lighting such as replacing T12 fluorescents with T5 /T8 fluorescents or LEDs; installing anti-sweat heater controls, HVAC upgrades, air duct sealing, insulation, windows and doors and many more. To see a list of eligible improvements see the Michigansaves.org website. Many of these improvements will have a relatively quick ROI and keep in mind this also covers residential property.
Case Study Hiller’s Market
Hillers is a family owned grocery store with multiple locations in the metro Detroit area. Due to the nature of the business, grocery stores typically use 2-3 times more energy per square foot than most other businesses. Hiller’s experienced high-energy bills due to inefficient, aging equipment and lighting. After an energy audit, it was determined that converting overhead lighting from T12 to more efficient T8 lamps could save 40% or more on lighting. Additional improvements include energy efficient refrigeration system controls and roof top condenser units. One of the more specialized items was insulation shades that pull down over the open face refrigerated counters at night to keep the vegetables cool. Store manager Larry Waller estimates that these immediately started to save about a third of the energy cost. Michigan Saves financed total cost of $112,600 for all upgrades. Net result is an approximate $25,000 annual energy savings, with a combined ROI in less than four years.
You can participate in this program …Even if you don’t have a grocery store, to get your share of the work go to www.michigansaves.org to enroll and become a Michigan Saves ‘authorized contractor’. As ‘authorized contractor’ you will attend some webinars that demonstrate how to leverage the program to create jobs for you and your team ╔and conserve energy.
Michigan Saves is also offering an additional $2,000 incentive to businesses in the food industry that cut their energy consumption by 20 percent or more. This is available to restaurants, convenience and grocery stores, and food wholesalers. If you have clients in the food industry you will want to inform them about energy saving upgrades.
Michigan Saves significantly expanded their contractor network in 2012, by adding over 90 new contractors and ended the year with 313 Authorized Contractors. Of the total group, 147 (47%) had initiated at least one loan. And 102 Authorized Contractors have initiated at least two loans (69%), which illustrate the trust that contractors have placed in the program. Furthermore, in a recent survey of contractors, 88% said that they believe Michigan Saves financing helps them make a sale! If you are interested in becoming an Authorized Contractor, please contact Todd Parker, Manager of Contractor Services, at 517-484-6474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.