June 6, 2018

Everyone knows that owning a home or business comes with high costs, particularly when it comes to monthly utilities. Thankfully, in many parts of the country, there are a number of innovative ways to defray these costs and, at the same time, improve quality of life and help the environment. For example, in Michigan, homeowners and commercial property owners can save over 30% on energy bills through Michigan Saves, a unique nonprofit organization that offers affordable financing options for energy improvements.

What is Michigan Saves?

The mission of Michigan Saves is to stimulate and support investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy systems in homes, businesses, and public buildings. If a homeowner wants to make an energy improvement, such as installing energy-efficient windows, insulation, and heating and cooling systems, they can partner with Michigan Saves, which operates as a nonprofit green bank, to get the financing they need.

Some residents have received up to $30,000, with interest rates as low as 4.25% APR, to finance energy improvements, while several Michigan businesses have received up to $250,000, with interest rates starting at 5.99% APR, to finance similar energy upgrades. With the amount saved in monthly utility costs, the improvements pay for themselves by providing more comfortable, safer, healthier homes and businesses.

Myron and Camilla Richardson's family took advantage of Michigan Saves' Home Energy Loan Program to upgrade their home's heating system. Michigan Saves paired them with a Building Performance Institute (BPI) contractor, and they now save 35% on heating and cooling costs annually.

Families like the Richardsons, as well as energy-conscious businesses, are fueling a boom in energy-efficiency projects across Michigan.

"Michigan Saves has financed more than $100 million in energy-efficiency and renewable energy improvements,' says Mary Templeton, Executive Director. "This means that not only are tens of millions of dollars made available on an annual basis for people and organizations to make their energy improvements come to fruition, it also means the Michigan Saves team is able to lend its expertise to new programs that further accelerate the development of the entire energy community."

Part of Michigan Saves' work is authorizing and monitoring a network of contractors. Contractors are required to meet a high standard of qualification and recognize those with advance training, which includes BPI certification. These standards ensure customers receive quality workmanship that enhances their comfort, health, and safety as well as the building's performance.

To find an authorized Michigan Saves contractor or to become authorized, visit https://michigansaves.org/contractor-locator.

UPDATE: An American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) article published on August 7, 2018 digs into how Michigan is becoming an energy efficiency powerhouse. The future is looking bright (and energy efficient) for Michigan residents.

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