Utility energy-efficiency programs "good for business"

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Michigan's utility energy optimization (EO) programs are boosting Michigan's economy, saving customers money and making Michigan's businesses more competitive, according to a new report  from the Michigan Public Service Commission.

The study found that from 2011 to 2015, cumulative benefits to customers are expected to exceed $2.5 billion.

"The EO program also results in the retention of hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs that would have been exported to other states in order to import energy to Michigan," the report says. "In addition, the benefits flowing to Michigan utility customers via the EO program should help minimize the debt burden of consumers, reduce utility uncollectible expenses, and strengthen the competitive position of Michigan businesses."

The MPSC report comes on the heels of a study commissioned by Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (Mi-EIBC) which concluded that Michigan-based manufacturing of energy-efficient products contributes on average more than $2 billion to the Michigan economy.

"Today's report confirms what EIBC highlighted earlier this year: energy efficiency is good for business," said Dan Scripps, Mi-EIBC president.  

According to the report, Michigan utilities are looking at the future of their energy-efficiency programs, making improvements and examining new offerings.

For example, there may be opportunities in the area of "geo-targeting," -- EO programs in areas with outage-prone circuits to maximize reliability and reduce outages.

For more:
- see the MPSC report
- see the EIBC report

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