By Anne Saliers, Holland Board of Public Works
More finalists have been selected from Holland for the 2018 Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards than from any other city in the state.
Of the 21 businesses, organizations, and individuals across the state that have been honored this year, three are from Holland, a fourth is honored because of its work in Holland, and a fifth Holland resident has been chosen for an honorable mention. The city with the second most selections was Detroit – with just two finalists.
The Energy Excellence Awards recognize the people and organizations in Michigan that have taken firm, meaningful actions to improve energy efficiency.
Focusing on energy is nothing new to Holland citizens and businesses. The city’s long-range Community Energy Plan, initiated by the Holland Community Sustainability Committee, lays out a strategy the city has been implementing with excellent results for six years.
The plan, devised to ensure Holland’s economic vitality, aims to reduce carbon emissions from 24 metric tons per capita to 10 metric tons by 2050. The plan has already reduced the carbon footprint by an estimated seven metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita since the 2010 baseline. Key accomplishments include the new Holland Energy Park, snowmelt expansion, utility energy efficiency education and incentives, the creation of Holland Energy Fund as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, and the development of the Home Energy Retrofit and On-Bill Loan Programs.
Next up is the renovated Civic Center, which will be heated by, would you believe, the snowmelt system! It’s a form of “district heating” using waste heat from power generation to heat the building. The snowmelt system serves as the transmission line that gets the heat to the building.
Other people are taking note of our progress and progressiveness, including the governor. He will announce the eight category award winners at an invitation-only event in Grand Rapids on Sept. 5.
Here are Holland’s finalists:
Best Projects – Residential: Roy Cole (Robert Katrinic received honorable mention).
Best Project – Public: Holland Board of Public Works for Holland Energy Park.
Contractor of the Year: WMGB Home Improvement for all the home energy efficiency retrofits in Holland.
Best Program: Holland Board of Public Works for its Residential Energy Performance Labeling Pilot Program.
The Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards honor Michigan individuals and organizations that have made reducing energy waste and implementing energy-efficient practices part of their everyday lives.
Congratulations to these finalists and to the Holland community!
Anne Saliers is community energy services manager at Holland Board of Public Works. She leads the conservation and energy waste reduction programs for the utility, including the On-Bill Loan Program, and the implementation of Holland’s long-range Community Energy Plan.
This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Smart Energy: We need to use both conservation and efficiency measures to manage our resources to provide access to reliable and cost-effective energy.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.