MEEA Unplugged

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Telling a New Story at the Pablo Davis Elder Living Center

Pablo Davis Elder Living Center with solar rooftop

Built in 1999, Pablo Davis Elder Living Center was the first senior center in southwest Detroit. Owned and operated by the nonprofit organization Bridging Communities, the facility houses 80 under-resourced renters and has become a fixture in the community. While in strong physical condition, the property was struggling financially when it came to the end of its 15-year compliance period under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. In reapplying for LIHTC, Bridging Communities and building owner Phyllis Edwards realized they could use this opportunity to add energy efficiency retrofits and on-site renewable energy generation to improve the resiliency of the building structure as well as its financial footing. The Detroit…

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Energy Benchmarking Heats Up in the Midwest

detroit by night

Summer is just getting into full swing, and across the country some communities are already roasting. Perhaps uncoincidentally, the process to adopt energy benchmarking policies is also heating up. Because buildings contribute to a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions, benchmarking policies are often part of city and state energy and climate plans. By tracking reliable and consistent energy consumption data, these policies can enable better decision-making around building energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Ann Arbor, Michigan The Office of Sustainability and Innovations and a community task force have been developing an energy and water benchmarking ordinance for large multifamily and…

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Energy Planning in the Midwest: Energy Efficiency as a Foundation

windmill farm

Significant changes to our energy system are underway. Renewable energy, energy storage and other distributed energy resources are cost-competitive with traditional resources such as coal, natural gas and nuclear in certain states. These new resources, in addition to a shift towards electrification and changes in consumer preferences, are poised to transform the energy system landscape in Midwest states. Federal, state and local lawmakers are also exploring various tools to facilitate decarbonization while ensuring the affordability and resilience of the energy system. One key tool in facilitating this transition and effectively planning for a rapidly changing energy landscape is a state energy plan. A state energy plan allows a state to…

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