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Better Buildings Residential Network member Farmington Hills, Michigan, held a January kick-off event to announce its plans to launch a host of programs designed to reduce residential and municipal energy consumption as part of its Georgetown University Energy Prize (GUEP) participation. Farmington Hills is one of 50 communities competing to reduce energy over the next two years to win GUEP’s $5 million prize.

“We don't want financing to be a barrier,” Michigan Saves Operations Manager Laura Palombi said.

Photo of a woman with a video camera in a room set up in front of a screen showing a man facing the camera via Skype.
GUEP Project Director Christofer Nelson joined the Farmington Hills kick-off event via Skype. (Photo: John Stormzand)

That is in part why fellow Residential Network member Michigan Saves will provide low-interest loans to help homeowners finance home energy upgrades. The program also partners with 300 contractors that are ready and authorized to complete the work, ensuring access to qualified energy professionals.

Farmington Hills’ municipal and residential energy consumption has been recorded since January 1, 2015, with the help of Michigan utilities DTE Energy and Consumers Energy. After the first energy consumption reports are in, Georgetown University will post the numbers so competing communities can measure how they line up with Farmington Hills.

“It's a reality show with $5 million—a big carrot at the other end. We’ve got our eyes on the prize,” said WXYZ-TV 7 Chief Meteorologist Dave Rexroth, who served as master of ceremonies at Farmington Hills GUEP kick-off event.

Learn more about Farmington Hills’ GUEP participation and Michigan Saves’ role.