DTE Energy helped Detroit’s grocers keep their broccoli – and their billfolds – a little greener this year with its energy-saving Grocer’s Incentive Program. The initiative won the 2011 Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Inspiring Efficiency Innovation Award.
DTE Energy’s program was specifically designed for the city of Detroit, which has no chain grocery stores and instead relies on a network of independent grocers to serve its residents.
The Grocer’s Incentive Program helps these small businesses save energy and money while also providing fresher produce. After starting as a pilot, the program has now migrated into DTE Energy’s menu of ongoing prescriptive offerings because of its popularity.
“It’s truly a success story,” said William Clemens, DTE Energy manager of energy efficiency and business solutions. “We have received hundreds of program applications to date.”
Since the IEA reception in January, the use of the program has expanded from Detroit into the suburbs and beyond as more grocers apply for incentives on ECM motors, LED lights and other energy efficient equipment.
“To be recognized by MEEA with an Inspiring Efficiency award is a tremendous honor for this specific efficiency program and DTE Energy overall,” said Emmett Romine, DTE Energy general manager of energy optimization. “It demonstrates the benefits of energy efficiency, especially for small, independent businesses, plus shows how we’re developing new and innovative programs to bring out efficiency savings for years to come.”
Winning the Inspiring Efficiency Award also helped to increase awareness for DTE Energy programs across many audiences.
“After the MEEA conference, we got five or six calls from other utilities interested in running similar programs,” Clemens said. “It’s helped to inform not only our customer, but our industry.”
Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 Inspiring Efficiency Awards, for more information on the awards and to apply, visit the Inspiring Efficiency Awards website. Application deadline in Septmeber 30th.