A Lansing-based nonprofit that has arranged more than $80 million in financing for energy efficiency upgrades in Michigan homes and business was recently honored for its work.
Michigan Saves received an Inspiring Efficiency Award from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. Since its establishment in 2009, Michigan Saves has worked with banks to provide over $80 million in financing for projects designed to reduce energy use and costs, improve health and safety, and ensure sustainability in 7,255 homes and commercial buildings.
The Mott grantee maintains a network of 10 authorized lenders and nearly 500 authorized contractors. Those lenders promote Michigan Saves financing to residential and commercial customers across Michigan.
“While helping Michigan residents become better stewards is reward enough, we’re especially happy to be recognized because it provides an opportunity to thank our partners, lenders, and contractors,” said Mary Templeton, executive director of Michigan Saves. “Together, we are a powerful network of committed people and organizations working to make an impact in our state.”
Established with grant funding from the Michigan Public Service Commission, Michigan Saves was designed to break down financial barriers that prevent homeowners and business owners from tackling energy-efficiency work. It encourages energy-efficiency investments at the individual and business level.
Loans arranged by Michigan Saves can be used to finance new furnaces, windows, insulation and other products that reduce energy use and, in turn, curtail the burning of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.
In 2016, the organization launched a pilot program in Holland called on-bill financing. The program makes it easier for homeowners and renters — including some with poor credit — to finance energy efficiency upgrades while avoiding high up-front costs. Payments are made via monthly utility bills.
If successful, the Holland program could be a model for a statewide initiative.