Dearborn Chamber backs energy-efficiency standards
If any community understands the benefits of efficiency, it’s Dearborn — home to Henry Ford, whose introduction of the assembly line changed the world.
That is why, as president of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, I am so proud of our many pioneering companies that are advancing energy efficiency — while also improving their bottom line.
And that is why we encourage Gov. Rick Snyder and policymakers now considering Michigan’s energy future to uphold energy efficiency standards that will further economic development and help the state reach its energy goals.
We have so much progress to build upon. Michigan ranks 12th in the nation in energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for 2014.
The reason is clear: Energy efficiency just makes good sense. The Michigan Public Service Commission estimates that every dollar invested in energy efficiency saves customers more than $4 on their utility bills. And from a business and community perspective, I know it is a great economic development opportunity.
In Dearborn, many of our businesses are already leading the way on efficiency. Consider just a few examples:
■ Ford Motor Land Development Corp. (Ford Land), which manages all Ford Motor Co.’s manufacturing plants and offices, invests an estimated $10 million a year in energy efficiency.
■ The city of Dearborn provides leadership in deploying LED lighting and financing for energy upgrades through property assessed clean energy (PACE), while exploring ways to convert waste to energy.
■ The city recently celebrated the installation of 21 energy-efficient lights in the Dearborn Administrative Center parking lot that were paid for by private sponsors through the National Adopt-A-Watt Program.
■ The Dearborn Country Club, with the help of Michigan Saves, made energy efficiency retrofits that saves the club about $43,000 a year in energy costs.
The Dearborn Area Chamber partners with member companies, local government and the community to share energy efficiency best practices and integrate resources available to support businesses.
Many businesses and chamber of commerce leaders in our state have seen firsthand the economic development opportunities associated with energy efficiency — and we want our communities to enjoy the full benefits. We urge the Michigan Legislature to pass energy efficiency standards that will further economic development and help the state meet Snyder’s energy goals.
Jackie Lovejoy is president of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce.