In partnership with AESP: The increasing roles of DERs, connected technology and Big Data are driving rapid change in energy efficiency. As we shape the Utility of the future, this community will help you keep up with the latest developments. 


Energy Efficiency: Back in Business

image credit: Photo 213360724 / Business © Adam Webb |
Nevelyn Black's picture
Writer, Independent

Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

  • Member since 2017
  • 1,023 items added with 591,241 views
  • Jun 11, 2021

Ottawa County, located in West Michigan, has a population close to 300,000 and is known for its many lakes.  In the last ten years the county has experienced the third fastest growth in the state.  To keep up with the influx, the county is introducing energy efficiency programs and helping small businesses to pay for upgrades.  Local estimates reveal about 30% of energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.  To combat that loss, the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program offers a funding alternative to traditional bank loans so businesses can afford to make energy-efficient improvements.  The program helps business owners secure a loan for up to 25 years and attaches a voluntary special assessment to the property upon being improved. improvements were made.  The loan is secured and runs with the land, not the owner.  Therefore, balloon payments are not required if the property is sold before the loan matures.

Improvements to make buildings more energy efficient and renewable is costly and requires high upfront costs.  One energy-efficiency-as-a-service firm has a different approach. Al Subbloie, CEO said, “Budderfly’s ability to assume all physical upgrade costs and recoup investments over time via a percentage of the monthly energy savings, allows our customers to instantly reduce operational costs helping to offset escalating prices in other areas.”  Assuming upfront costs and leveling the playing field with greater financing options, allows more businesses, property owners and ratepayers to embrace energy efficiency upgrades.  

On a grander scale, The World Bank approved a $65 million loan to Turkey to strengthen the safety of public buildings while improving their energy efficiency.  “Buildings with the greatest vulnerability to disasters are also energy inefficient. By combining structural strengthening of buildings with energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, this project will yield significant cost efficiencies while fostering long-term resilience and sustainability,” said Alanna Simpson from World Bank.  

Financial institutions and state regulators are putting more emphasis on efficiency and energy conservation.  In fact, at least 27 states have adopted energy efficiency resource standards (EERS).  But some have said ‘utilities can do more than just live with state and federal energy efficiency requirements.’  Eversource is doing more.  Regarding their program for Boston Main Streets commercial district, Eversource Energy Efficiency spokesman Bill Stack said, “Last year, we held Main Streets events in 15 communities and completed more than 700 energy efficiency upgrades to help business owners save on their energy costs. We hope to help even more businesses save this year.”   The utility will schedule free energy assessment visits and assist with energy saving equipment upgrades and improvements.  After assessment those who qualify will receive incentives from Eversource and interest-free financing to offset upgrade costs.  

Many projects were stalled last year but now energy efficiency is back in business.  What approach has provided the best results and how have incentives, financial aid and state regulations impacted your energy efficiency efforts?


No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Nevelyn Black's picture
Thank Nevelyn for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »