JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 21, 2017 : Consumers Energy has helped 10,000 small businesses across Michigan lower their costs through an eight-year-old program that rewards them financially for taking steps to use less energy.
"Michigan is powered by its small businesses, and we are pleased to help so many of them realize savings that put people to work," said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy's vice president of customer experience. "From grocery stores to nonprofits to restaurants, these Michigan small businesses save over $21 million each year through energy efficiency upgrades."
Consumers Energy's Small Business Energy Efficiency Program provides financial benefits to electric customers who voluntarily participate. Small businesses receive free assessments that identify ways to reduce energy use and are directed toward rebates for upgrades that reduce their energy use.
Since the program started in 2009, small businesses have received over $35 million in incentives from Consumers Energy. This year also projects to the program's busiest yet, with 2,600 small businesses expected to make energy efficiency upgrades. Over 50 trained electrical contractors, employing hundreds of Michigan workers, participate in the program.
Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids was the program's 10,000th participant, retrofitting over 300 light fixtures and installing 700 LED light bulbs through its facility this year. The nonprofit ministry, which provides shelter and other services for homeless people, will reduce its energy costs by over $5,800 each year.
"We are so thankful for Consumers Energy's Small Business Energy Efficiency Program! Consumers Energy and the contractor they choose were amazing to work with. The changes have had a positive impact on our patrons who use our services daily," said Executive Director Marge Palmerlee.
"Not only does the environment feel safer and brighter, but the energy efficient lighting has proven to be cost efficient. The money that we are saving on light costs will go toward meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community."
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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