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TCSaves homeowners cheer cozier homes, lower heating bills

Efficiency First, TCSaves | February 28, 2013 | By Jim Dulzo

The two-year TCSaves program was—and is—good news for Traverse City: It kept local contractors and building supply wholesalers busy. Now it’s saving energy dollars for homeowners and keeping some of those dollars in town, rather than sending them to distant coalfields. Lessons learned from TCSaves will help the community as it moves forward with a long-term energy efficiency project for Traverse City. ...

This is what democracy looks like

Forward on Climate | February 28, 2013 | By Jim Lively

Fifty-six people. 27 students. 30 hours round-trip on a cramped bus. Four hours standing on the National Mall in frigid temps followed by a march to the White House. That’s what democracy looks like. It’s not always comfortable, but it sure is inspiring. On Saturday Feb. 16, I joined 55 other people on a bus in Traverse City headed for Washington D.C. to march in what was to be the largest climate rally ever held in the United States. ...

TC2DC for the Forward on Climate Rally!

Power to Change, Climate | February 18, 2013 | By MLUI

The Michigan Land Use Institute and Sustainable TC are teaming up to offer northern Michigan activists a chance to attend the upcoming Forward On Climate rally in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 17. We are chartering a bus to leave from Traverse City on Feb. 16 for an overnight drive to the nation's capital and the rally. We will drive back to TC overnight on Sunday with a return set for Monday morning....

Hans Voss: Choosing TCL&P’s New Director Is a Big Deal

TCL&P | February 14, 2013 | By Hans Voss

Our message is clear: TCL&P board members should look far and wide for a new director, attract the best candidates possible, and interview them with wide-open minds and complete transparency. Like every utility today, Traverse City’s is at a crossroads. It must choose between its business-as-usual model and the new, even revolutionary 21st-century models now emerging around the world....

MLUI Welcomes New Members to Board and Advisory Council

MLUI News | February 13, 2013 | By MLUI

The Michigan Land Use Institute Board of Directors recently welcomed its newest member. Tim Pulliam brings with him vast experience in the energy efficiency field as co-founder and president of Keen Technical Solutions, LLC. Keen provides clients throughout North America with analysis and energy conservation strategies. Inc. Magazine named Keen one of the "500 Fastest Growing Private Companies" in a profile last year....

Public-Private Partnerships Power Business Efficiency

Efficiency First | January 31, 2013 | By Jim Dulzo

You’d never know it driving by, but tucked into a nondescript warehouse district just south of town is an office and production space so airy and dazzling that it would turn heads in the hippest urban enclaves. The comfortable digs and lighting at Britten, Inc., are the result of several recent, major energy efficiency projects. They are making Britten’s workers happy, but the firm’s accountants are smiling, too....

Permit Is Renewed, but Rogers City Coal Plant Still Stalled

Power to Change, Wolverine, Coal | January 7, 2013 | By Jim Dulzo

In a quick and quiet decision, Michigan environmental regulators have given Wolverine Power Cooperative another year to break ground on its long-delayed, highly controversial Rogers City coal plant. But stricter coal plant emission limits, soaring coal-power costs, cheap natural gas, and falling demand for electricity could still doom the 600-megawatt project. ...

Holland OKs Gas Plant, Turns To Efficiency Projects

Power to Change, Holland | December 17, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

In an historic vote, the Holland City Council has pre-empted longstanding plans to build a highly controversial coal plant in the city and, instead, approved a natural gas-fired power plant that will likely provide more power than the town actually needs. ...

Momentum builds for a regional energy plan

Energy Plan, Garforth, Efficiency | December 13, 2012 | By Brian Beauchamp

The 88,000 people in Grand Traverse County spend $306 million a year on energy. Of those millions, 70 percent leaves the community—a huge tax and a drain on the people and the economy of the region. But what if we dedicated ourselves to making sure more of that money stays in the region? What if we embarked on a deliberate plan to cut back on those energy costs, capture the energy that’s being wasted, and invest in new energy sources locally? Those were the questions asked last week at a workshop in Traverse City. ...

Plugged In: Opportunity Knocks in Snyder’s Energy Message

Plugged In, Renewables, Power to Change, | December 5, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

Reading the text of Governor Rick Snyder’s Special Message on Energy and the Environment, which is a bit more detailed than the remarks he delivered last Wednesday, it’s clear he’s serious about energy efficiency and, to some extent, renewables like wind and solar power. But he was also less detailed than some hoped....

Plugged In: No Time to Wait on Renewables

Power to Change, Proposal 3 | November 28, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

The ruckus over renewables isn’t over: Proposal 3’s advocates sound even more determined to boost renewables goals beyond their current “10 percent by 2015” target and make Michigan a jobs-rich, global, renewables manufacturing leader. And on Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder used his Special Message on Energy and the Environment to say he’s ready to start a conversation next year about resetting the goal for renewables....

Will Republican State Reps Renew Attack on Efficiency Mandate?

Efficiency | November 21, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

With Gov. Rick Snyder set to deliver his Special Message on Energy on Nov. 28, several Republican state representatives are declining to say whether they will renew their attack on Michigan’s “energy optimization” law, which saves residents money by requiring utilities to help customers use less power and natural gas....

MLUI Newsletter - Fall 2012

MLUI News | November 13, 2012 | By MLUI

We are advocates. That might be obvious to you, but for those of us on the staff and Board, winnowing down the many, multi-faceted roles we play to a single word is a big challenge. But behind it all is one specific mission: We advocate to protect Michigan’s environment, strengthen its economy, and enhance our quality of life. And we take that mission very seriously....

Prop 3’s Lessons—and MLUI's Next Steps

Proposal 3, Power to Change | November 7, 2012 | By Hans Voss

Despite a tough loss on Prop. 3, we remain optimistic here at the Institute. We’re ready to work toward solutions, and we’ll keep on pushing forward toward our clean energy, pro-environment, pro-economy vision....

Gov. Milliken: Proposal 3 deserves to be in Michigan Constitution

Proposal 3, Power to Change | November 1, 2012 | By Gov. William Milliken

I enthusiastically support Proposal 3 because developing clean energy right here in Michigan is good for the environment and the economy. There are times when the public is better served when important matters of public policy are protected within our Constitutional framework. ...

Plugged In: Prop 3 Could Boost Community Renewables Projects

Plugged In, Proposal 3, Power to Change | October 25, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

There’s a brand-new wind turbine spinning in Leelanau County. The sparkling white machine high on a hill near Northport may be Michigan’s first-ever “community renewable energy” project, and it offers a fresh spin on Proposal 3, which requires 25 percent renewables for Michigan by 2025.

Plugged In: With Prop. 3, Who Really CARES for Michigan?

Plugged In, Proposal 3, Power to Change | October 23, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

I was recently mugged by this commercial against Proposal 3, a/k/a the “Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs” proposal. There’s a spinning wind turbine, a doomy voice, and a meter rocketing from zero to $12 billion in 30 seconds flat—all to scare anyone who uses electricity. Turns out it was paid for by a group called CAREforMichigan. What does CARE stand for? Why, Clean Affordable Renewable Energy, of course. Really?...

Little Effect on Power Prices in States with Big Renewables Goals

Power to Change, Proposal 3 | October 17, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

Three states with renewable energy standards similar to those in Michigan’s Proposal 3—Minnesota, Illinois and Colorado—are seeing little or no rise in electricity prices, undermining claims that the ballot measure will sharply increase energy costs....

Plugged In: Prop. 3 and the True Meaning of ‘Skyrocket’

Plugged In, Proposal 3, Power to Change | October 17, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

Still mulling over whether Proposal 3, the renewable energy standard ballot initiative, will skyrocket your electric bill as utility ads claim? Well, here's a true story: Consumers wants to raise residential electric rates by an average of more than $11 per month, and it has nothing to do with renewables. And, in the year ending in July, DTE Energy raised residential rates by an average of 11 percent—largely due to the rising cost of coal. Now, that’s skyrocketing!...

Norway Firm’s Local Factory Highlights Prop. 3’s Potential

Power to Change, Proposal 3 | September 26, 2012 | By Jim Dulzo

If Michigan voters approve Proposal 3 on the November ballot, Norway's Dokka and several hundred other firms in the state’s renewables manufacturing sector will have good reason to expand their operations. Prop. 3 would more than double Michigan’s current renewable energy mandate, matching it with several of the state’s Midwestern manufacturing competitors, and quickly boosting the local market for turbine and solar panel parts....

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