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Michigan – SEP

Michigan Saves

Location: Michigan
Seed Funding: $5 million
Target Building Type: Commercial food retailers
Learn More: Read "financing and incentives" case study

Better Buildings Means Better Business for Michigan

For food retailers in Michigan, heating, lighting, and food storage and preparation represent significant operating expenses. Michigan Saves is helping businesses in the retail food sector across the state save money on their utility bills by improving access to energy efficiency improvements.

Driving Demand: Gains by Association
Financing: Affordable Financing Helps With Upfront Costs

Gains by Association

After researching the retail food marketplace, Michigan Saves discovered that, in order to gain the attention and trust of store owners and effectively promote the benefits of energy efficiency upgrades, the program needed to partner with local trade associations. These trade organizations have deep working relationships with local retail food businesses such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and restaurants. Through these relationships and an authorized and trained contractor network, Michigan Saves educates business owners about the cost savings that can be gained with energy efficiency upgrades such as new refrigeration systems, cooking equipment, heating and cooling systems, lighting, doors, and windows.

Affordable Financing Helps With Upfront Costs

Michigan's recent economic downturn has impacted many industries throughout the state. The retail food sector has faced its share of challenges, and operates with very thin profit margins. The cost to install energy efficiency upgrades in their facilities often requires a significant investment, but securing affordable financing is a sizable hurdle.

With the help of Michigan Saves, businesses in this industry can now receive an energy efficiency assessment, a list of recommended improvements, and access to affordable financing packages to cover the upfront cost of energy upgrades. Michigan Saves partners with financial institutions to provide building owners with financing to help fund energy efficiency upgrades, with interest rates as low as 1.99%. Participating businesses are lowering their monthly energy bills and reducing costs. This self-sustaining financing program is in place to serve the market after the grant is completed.


Mark Clevey

U.S. Department of Energy
Better Buildings Neighborhood Program