When the U.S. Department of Energy announced $400 million in grants for local energy efficiency initiatives in 2009, many Michigan communities wanted to apply for the funds. Michigan had been hit hard by the recession, and many communities saw home energy efficiency improvements as a great way to help people save money and stay in their homes, while also creating new jobs in the home retrofit and construction business.
Rather than being competitors, the State, its two largest cities and Michigan suburbs were able to come together in an uncommon partnership, which came to be called BetterBuildings for Michigan. Their cooperative application won the second largest grant in the country, bringing the state $30 million to fund residential energy efficiency projects in 39 neighborhoods as well as a commercial energy efficiency program in the City of Detroit.
We are pleased to participate in this statewide collaboration that will demonstrate several different approaches to promoting energy efficiency.