The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan (EAG) continues to grow while helping businesses become more energy and fiscally efficient through its energy efficiency and cost recovery services. Scott Ringlein, EAG’s CEO and founder, recently reviewed a partial list of ongoing projects with the EAG staff.
“As we continue to add projects, we’re also adding staff to help complete this work. Sometimes people don’t recognize that energy efficiency projects also generate jobs, within our company, but also within the finance community in addition to the general contractors who complete the energy efficiency installation/modification/renovation work. It feels really good to be part of this economic growth,” Ringlein said.
Following is a brief synopsis of EAG’s current projects, listed in alphabetical order.
Bay Harbor Inn, Petoskey
The management team of the historic inn is working with The Energy Alliance Group to determine what energy efficiency improvements they would like to address. Emmet County is not a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance district yet, so Boyne Properties, Lean & Green Michigan and EAG are working with the county board of commissioners with hopes of getting approval for PACE in that county. The premise is that the Bay Harbor Inn energy project would be PACE-financed.
California Agriculture Project (Grow lights)
The California Cannabis Company, with assistance from a medical marijuana collective, California Cannabis Collective, evaluated the TotalGrow lighting technology. Their results have been positive, with healthy plants, cooler lights (which reduced the need to run air conditioners) and the ability to use the same type of lighting throughout the growing cycle. “We are planning at this time to promote TotalGrow lighting in our grow facility designs, consulting and to improve sustainability of cannabis cultivation,” wrote Christian Barrett, cultivator for the collective.
Grand PaPa’s, Detroit
As one of the larger producers of snack product in Detroit, Grand PaPa’s continues to look at improving its energy efficiency. EAG is investigating whether Grand PaPa’s will qualify for PACE financing and utilize it to make possible improvements that could include lighting, HVAC, hot water systems, building envelope improvements, and solar.
Ground Effects, Multiple U.S. locations
Ground Effects is a Canadian company with many operations in the U.S. Since 2012, EAG has been working with several of the Ground Effects facilities on energy efficiency improvement projects. Recently, EAG completed a life cycle cost study showing the cost advantages of LED over high-output fluorescent lighting for Ground Effects’ Dearborn facility. A similar study is on going for its Warren facility’s exterior lighting.
Hamburg Oil Change and Car Wash, Hamburg
EAG is looking at improving lighting, heating and hot water systems at the Hamburg Oil Change and Car Wash. Boilers are used to provide radiant heat for the floor of the car wash (in the winter to prevent ice buildup) and to generate hot water for the car wash itself. Financing for this project would be provided by the company or perhaps through the Michigan SAVES program, not through PACE.
Inter-Cooperative Council at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The council owns 17 houses near the campus of U-M to provide housing to students who join the co-op (thus becoming part owner of the organization). Rents are lower than market average and students are expected to contribute four hours of work a week to maintain and operate the homes. EAG will evaluate utility bills, utility choice options and cost recovery possibilities for all the homes. It also will evaluate energy efficiency improvements for the council’s largest home, Escher House, on the North Campus of the University of Michigan. These improvements could include lighting, heating, hot water and temperature controls, commercial kitchen operations, laundry room, building envelope and the possibility of solar electrical generation.
LaFontaine Automotive Group, Michigan
Although in preliminary discussions, the LaFontaine Automotive Group is looking at utilizing PACE financing to upgrade all of its facilities including non-dealership facilities. EAG is assisting in the planning of this project. LaFontaine currently offers 22 auto franchises in 12 different locations around Michigan. It also operates two full-service body shops.
The Energy Alliance Group recently entered into a contract with Roostertail to develop energy efficiency improvements for the iconic entertainment and dining venue. This will include evaluating the current energy use and its costs, performing an energy audit and looking at finance and incentive options. EAG will focus on the following areas and technologies for possible energy reductions: Exterior lighting, HVAC systems, geothermal, energy management/controls, hot water system, laundry, water conservation, coolers, freezers, ice machine systems, building envelope and solar.
Star Lincoln, Southfield
The installation of energy efficiency improvements at the Star Lincoln auto dealership is nearly complete. The improvements included interior and exterior LED lighting, high-efficiency heating systems, a variable speed drive compressed air system, high-speed service entry doors and improvements to the building envelope.
The City of Pleasant Ridge
Improving its energy efficiency of the city-owned facilities is a major goal of the city’s management. EAG is working with the city in developing possible improvements that could include lighting, HVAC, hot water systems, building envelope improvements, and solar.
Woodward Avenue Brewers (WAB), Ferndale
WAB purchased an 11,000 square foot brown field building with the idea of expanding its brewing operations there (currently done at the Woodward Avenue WAB brew house, which also is a restaurant) and entering the spirits business. Because the building is currently vacant, energy efficiency improvements could be funded by PACE. EAG is working with WAB owners as they consider possible improvements that could include lighting, geothermal, building envelope improvements, high-speed doors, controls and solar.