You might think that by now, with all the money building owners and managers can save through energy conservation, every building in Michigan would have had an energy audit.
But you would be wrong.
The good thing about that is, there’s plenty of business out there for a company like Walker-Miller Energy Services LLC in Detroit.
“I would say 99 percent of buildings have never had an energy audit,” said Carla Walker-Miller, who founded the company in 2000.
Conservation is the lowest-hanging fruit of making a building greener. And over the course of a major building’s lifetime, it can literally save millions, Walker-Miller said.
Walker-Miller said most owners make the mistake of building a structure they’ll occupy for decades based on the lowest bid, without considering how spending a little more on construction will pay off big over the years.
As for existing buildings, she said there are plenty of steps most building owners and managers can take to button up their buildings and install more efficient heating, cooling, lighting and controls technologies. And frequently, there are government and utility rebates and other support for such projects.
Walker-Miller is a native of who got engineering degrees from Tennessee State University in 1981 and later worked for big companies like Westinghouse selling big electrical equipment to utilities. She came to Detroit in 1990 to work for ABB, the company that had purchased Westinghouse, and eventually went into business for herself.
But when the last recession hit, sales tightened, and the focus of her business shifted to energy conservation services. And while she’ll still sell you big electrical system hardware, the conservation part of the business is what’s really growing.
Walker-Miller said her company has 30 employees; among them are electrical and mechanical engineers, certified building analysts, certified energy managers — green building experts.
And there’s more growth ahead: Draft legislation was introduced in April to increase renewable energy targets through 2021. The issue is under review by Gov. Rick Snyder, the Michigan Public Service Commission and the Michigan Energy Office. If passed, there will be financial incentives to encourage additional investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
To find out how Walker-Miller can make your company and its buildings greener, visit http://www.wmenergy.com.
Note: This article in the Spotlight section was sponsored by Walker-Miller Energy. To find out how you can sponsor content in the Spotlight, contact Maria Marcantonio at (248) 327-2743 or email her.