Community Energy Management

  • A Community Energy Manager is an individual or service provider that helps municipal leaders and staff reduce energy waste through development and implementation of sound local energy policies that foster creation of a local Energy Plan and effective management of municipality energy management programs. CEMs are also the local champion and information resource for other energy projects/programs within the community.

    Michigan local governments with a Community Energy Manager are well-positioned to proactively plan for and implement strategic energy efficiency, renewable energy, and related sustainability investments and respond to opportunities in these areas. This results in greater potential for energy waste reduction, monetary savings from reduced operating costs, local economic activity, and positions local governments as leaders-by-example for residents, businesses, and other organizations within the broader community.


Spotlight on community energy management: River Rouge

  • All over Michigan, communities are cutting their energy costs by implementing energy waste reduction at public facilities, thanks to grants from the Michigan Agency for Energy.

    Last year, the City of River Rouge, received a Community Energy Management (CEM) grant from the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE). The city worked with EcoWorks and others, who provided the city with third-party community energy services. The collaboration allowed the city to benchmark 13 of its buildings and set an official baseline year for energy usage, which enabled it to set realistic energy reduction goals for the coming years.

    It also started two municipal building projects at the River Rouge Public Library and the City Hall. The library project, which consisted of installing insulation, replacing of a display window and adding other low-cost energy conservation measures, is expected to save more than $3,000 in energy costs annually. At City Hall, the focus has been on replacing an air handler and applying reflective film on windows in the City Council chambers, which will improve occupant comfort and decrease energy usage.

    River Rouge is no stranger to taking a strategic approach to reducing energy waste. Since 2009, the city has undertaken projects to reduce energy usage in municipal buildings. Projects have included boiler replacement and installation of rooftop solar at city hall. It also replaced all of its streetlights with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), estimated to save the city tens of thousands of dollars on energy bills yearly.