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Michigan Energy Office seeks proposals for energy cost-cutting

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LANSING – The Michigan Energy Office Thursday issued seven Requests for Proposals and a Request for Interest to solicit project applications that will develop clean energy technologies and assist Michigan businesses, schools and communities in reducing their energy consumption.

“It is crucial that we work to ensure our commercial and public buildings are as energy efficient as possible, because energy conservation efforts save money and are an important economic development tool,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “Money that would have been spent on energy can instead be spent on hiring or retaining employees, education, services, or reinvested.”

The Energy Office is requesting proposals from energy consultants, nonprofits, educational institutions and public building operators to award grants that total up to $557,500 for energy projects in the following areas:

Michigan Renewable Energy (RE) Demonstration ProgramRenewable energy-related feasibility and demonstration projects that have the clear potential to deliver clear and compelling scientific, technical evidence of feasibility as well as related commercial benefits to the state. Up to three grants will be expected to be made at approximately $28,000 each. A total of $85,000 is available.

Renewable Energy (RE) Tools ProgramIntended to help drive down the installed cost per watt for renewable energy in Michigan. One award of up to $100,000 will be made to a qualifying organization that develops and deploys permitting guidebooks and related materials to Michigan communities.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Education & Outreach Events ProgramIntended to educate consumers on how they can foster both community and economic reinvention in the state by effectively lowering the amount of money they spend on energy with cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and products. Between 10 and 20 awards are expected to be made at $500 to $3,000 each ($25,000 in total is available).

Rebuild Michigan Regional Technical Assistance ProgramProvide funding for competitive grants to provide preliminary energy audits and related technical support services to Rebuild Michigan clients. Six grants of up to $20,000 each are to be awarded to qualified organizations-businesses.

Rebuild Michigan Direct Voucher Services ProgramOffering a total of $37,500 in direct voucher services to Regional Technical Assistants for commercial energy audits and related project planning services. Visit here to view the application form.

Building Operator Certification (BOC) ProgramOffering a total of $15,000 to increase training opportunities in Michigan during 2013. The course equips its graduates with the knowledge and skills to save energy, reduce operating costs, and improve overall efficiency and comfort of their facilities. The Michigan Energy Office, in conjunction with other BOC sponsors, will be offering tuition rebates (up to $350) to operators that complete training and receive certification. 

Farm Energy Audit ProgramOne award of up to $75,000 will be made to a nonprofit or state institution of higher learning to conduct on-site farm energy audits.  The audits should focus on energy efficiency in agribusiness operations and opportunities to supplement energy needs with renewable energy sources.

In addition, the Energy Office is issuing a PCB Ballast Removal Initiative in Public Schools Request for Interest for one public school district in Southeast Michigan that has a keen interest in demonstrating best practices for removing and disposing of lighting fixtures containing PCB ballasts from classrooms and replacing them with energy efficient lighting. Interested school districts are asked to respond to the RFI by Nov. 9. Up to $100,000 in funding is expected to be available for this initiative.

Each RFP has specific matching requirements. In general, preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate up to a 50 percent cost share of the total allowable project costs.  Applicant’s cost share must come from a non-federal and non-state sources, unless otherwise allowed by law.

Project proposals will vary per RFP; see specific RFP for details.

Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program awarded to the Michigan Energy Office.

The Michigan Energy Office promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy resource development to Michigan’s residents, businesses, and public institutions. The Michigan Energy Office is part of the Michigan Strategic Fund, which receives administrative services from the MEDC.

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