Northwest Michigan Council of Governments Receives National Energy Efficiency Honors
NORTHWEST MI—The National Association of Development Organizations awarded the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG) its regional Innovation Award for an energy saving program for local governments at the organization’s October national conference.
"It’s an honor to receive this national recognition, on behalf of the region, for a program we believe in supporting and promoting, and is one that directly and positively impacts taxpayers and local units of government during tough economic times," said Matt McCauley, director of regional planning and community development.
The award is based on the Energy Efficiency for Local Units of Government program NWMCOG developed in 2011. The project goal is to reduce energy consumption among local governments in the region, save taxpayer dollars, and create economic opportunities for Michigan’s energy industry.
In its first year, NWMCOG allocated $40,000 to each of the region’s 10 counties to support energy audits of county-owned buildings and to create a plan for energy efficiency improvements. The audits identified more than $1.8 million in potential energy savings.
These include "no cost" improvements that could help each county achieve between $12,000 and $35,000 in additional annual savings if implemented. In addition, many of the improvements are eligible to receive rebates from utility companies as part of the state mandated energy optimization program. The project’s second year, in 2012, will include a competitive sub-grant process to select 10 additional units of government to receive $40,000 for audits and retrofits. All participants will designate at least 50 percent of these savings for future energy improvements.
Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission