Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

February 7, 2014

Forum: TCL&P, TCSaves and what it means to you

Recently the Traverse City Light & Power Board and staff completed a six-month strategic planning process which identified many areas of focus for the utility, one of which is energy efficiency. L&P has a strong history of offering customers ways to become more energy efficient through innovative programs like the TCSaves program.

Soon, if not already, you will be seeing those green “Join Us” signs sprout up on snowy lawns, spotlighting TCL&P customers who have taken advantage of the TCSaves home energy assessment program. This is happening, I’m proud to say, because last fall L&P moved to revive TCSaves after its state and federal grant funding expired. The L&P Board voted unanimously to support the continuation of the program because it has worked so well for customers, the Traverse City community, and for L&P.

In its first run, beginning in October of 2012, TCSaves helped 550 homeowners, or one-fifth of Traverse City’s owner-occupied houses, take the first step in analyzing how their houses could be saving energy and money. They received an in-depth analysis of their home’s energy use through specialized testing such as a blower door test and infrared scan, expert advice on best next steps for more comfort at less cost, and access to low-interest loans for major projects like windows, insulation, and furnaces.

In 2012, L&P exceed the state-mandated energy efficiency goal by 62 percent, saving over 4.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which is equivalent to powering 628 Traverse City-area homes for an entire year. L&P’s success is due, in part, to partnerships like the one with TCSaves, which is made up of two local non-profits and local, energy certified, contractors. By working together, we can make a difference.

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