New Energy Waste Reduction Program
2022 EWR Program
The proverbial training wheels are coming off, and Holland BPW’s energy efficiency programs are speeding ahead and charting a new and exciting path into 2022! Recent changes in state law no longer require municipal utilities like Holland BPW to be subject to the oversight of the Michigan Public Service Commission in designing and implementing their energy waste reduction (EWR) programs. Some other utilities in the state may take this opportunity to discontinue their EWR programs all together, but not us. Instead, Holland BPW is taking advantage of gaining local control of EWR programming and expanding its energy efficiency goals, while simultaneously eliminating its energy optimization charge, which helped customers realize a 2021 electric rate reduction.
Holland BPW’s EWR program generates social, environmental, and economic value for its customers and the greater Holland community. Helping customers to be efficient in their use of energy drives our mission to be socially and environmentally responsible. But we also chose to continue the program after the mandate expired because it is cost-effective for customers and the electric utility. Lower electric bills are good for our local economy and make commercial and industrial businesses more competitive. Lower electric demands that result from customer efficiency improvements and energy-smart behaviors delay the need for Holland BPW to invest in expensive new power generation resources. Efficient use of our resources is a win-win that helps the community of Holland to flourish!
The new goals set by Holland BPW for the EWR program are more aggressive than what the law previously required. The former regulation specified utilities must execute energy waste reduction programs that saved 1% of the utility’s total kilowatt-hour (kWh) sales for a given year. Our new goals will increase incrementally, doubling by 2024, and encompassing all residential, commercial and industrial customers.
- 2009-2021: 1.0% of total sales saved through EWR program
- 2022: 1.5% of total sales saved through EWR program
- 2023: 1.75% of total sales saved through EWR program
- 2024: 2.0% of total sales saved through EWR program
Holland BPW carefully considered our community’s long term Community Energy Plan (CEP) in setting its new EWR goals. The CEP establishes targets for carbon reduction, and expanding the EWR program helps lower the carbon footprint of the community. Holland’s carbon footprint is calculated every two years to track progress on CEP goals. In 2010, when the CEP was drafted, Holland’s carbon footprint was 24 metric tons per capita, and the goal was to reduce that number to 10 metric tons by the year 2050. Today, we are at 17 metric tons per capita. After the latest updates to the CEP targets adopted by City Council in the fall of 2021, Holland is now aiming for 12.25 metric tons by 2030, or roughly the same goal as the original CEP, but twenty years earlier. Achieving that new goal requires multiple strategies that involve the participation of the whole community. Holland BPW’s EWR programs- and the potential role for new program offerings- are a significant part of many of these strategies.
“To reach the City’s revised emissions goals for 2030, a 1% energy efficiency gain year over year would not be enough,” stated Andrew Reynolds, Holland BPW’s Community Energy Services Manager. “The sooner our customers adopt energy-saving measures, the sooner they can start saving money, and the sooner our community can reap the societal and environmental benefits.”
What Can Holland BPW Electric Customers Expect From Our EWR Programs?
Holland BPW electric customers can expect the same wide variety of Energy Smart rebates as in years past. Also, watch for the Energy Smart rebate program to evolve. In 2021, we added a new rebate for A/C Tune Ups and continue to evaluate new possibilities that will help us reach our enhanced goals.
Small Business Services
Holland BPW can help recommend energy-saving projects and connect customers with trade allies who can complete efficiency upgrades.
Green Projects Group (GPG)
GPG simplifies the Holland BPW rebate process by delivering free LED lightbulbs to your door. Residential customers can fill out a short online form and request the number of bulbs they would like (up to a max of 36 bulbs), plus you can also request a free programmable thermostat.
2021 Program Results
Green Projects Group
Our new relationship with Green Project Group helped the LED lightbulb giveaway program succeed through the start of the pandemic. Holland BPW started with GPG one month before COVID-19 hit our community. The partnership was very successful in helping us distribute lightbulbs through that time. Prior to that, we depended primarily on giveaway events, so GPG really made a difference when these events were not possible.