Gov. Rick Snyder: Michigan eliminates energy waste in state facilities, pursues ENERGY STAR certifications

One-fifth of state buildings qualify for national recognition

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – The state government has considerably reduced energy use in recent years by using leading-edge technologies and eliminating energy waste, saving significant tax dollars, Gov. Rick Snyder said.

Snyder on Wednesday spoke about the importance of eliminating energy waste as part of a plan for Michigan’s energy future. Snyder last month set a goal of meeting 30 to 40 percent of Michigan’s energy needs through our cleanest sources -- renewable energy plus waste reduction -- by 2025.

“Michigan has seen the energy challenges that lie ahead, and these are opportunities to do things differently to protect our residents from rate spikes and prolonged outages in the future,” Snyder said. “Our state government has taken steps to reduce energy waste, lowering our demands and saving taxpayers money. And we know there are businesses, churches, schools and families across the state learning about the benefits of eliminating energy waste and taking these kinds of steps voluntarily to reduce their own energy use.”

Snyder spoke at a roundtable in Lansing with Valerie Brader, who he intends to name executive director of the new Michigan Agency for Energy. They were joined by The Rev. Yvette Griffin of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Detroit, Lenawee Intermediate School District Superintendent Jim Philp, Whirlpool Vice President Jeff Noel, Ford Motor Company Director of Energy George Andraos and Troy Schumaker of Walters Gardens in Zeeland. Michigan Public Service Commission member Sally A. Talberg also participated.

Each shared about steps they had taken to make their business, schools and church more energy efficient and the benefits of eliminating energy waste.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget directed state efforts and will pursue prestigious ENERGY STAR certifications for eight state government-managed facilities, representing approximately 20 percent of the total portfolio.

“We have made reduction of energy consumption a top priority in state government,” DTMB Director David Behen said. “Efforts have been made in every DTMB-managed building to increase energy efficiency, saving tax dollars and reducing the drain on our natural resources. It is important for government to lead by example, and that is what we are doing in Michigan.”

The State of Michigan has benchmarked 35.5 million square feet of building space in the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Benchmarking enables the state to employ energy saving measures and best practices, reducing energy costs statewide. For example, the state’s Secondary Complex in Dimondale has reduced consumption by 18 percent since 2010 thorough a variety of measures.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking program requires that facilities must receive an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher to be considered for certification. These scores indicate they perform better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

The eight state facilities that have achieved this rating include; the Lewis Cass Building, Lottery Building and Constitution Hall in downtown Lansing, the Jerome T. Hart Building in Saginaw, the Operations Center in Dimondale, the Jackson State Office Building, the Flint State Office Building and the Traverse City State Office Building. The certification process requires review from a third-party engineer to verify the energy measures. DTMB began these reviews in March and expects to receive all verification and submit final applications before the end of the year.

In recent years, the state has set in place a number of energy savings measures and new technologies to improve efficiency in its facilities, including;

  • Installation of IceBank thermal storage located at the Saginaw State Office Building and in the Energy Center at the State Secondary Complex. This process stores inexpensive night-time electricity in the form of ice to use during the day, reducing cooling costs by 20-40 percent.
  • Installed a cogeneration plant to power and heat the facilities at the State Secondary Complex. Cogeneration uses one fuel source to create two utility sources. The 2.4 megawatts of total power it produces is equivalent to powering 2575 average Michigan homes annually.
  • Lighting upgrades with energy efficient lighting replacements at all DTMB facilities.
  • Daylight harvesting ballasts have been installed in many DTMB facilities. This technology controls electronic lighting to automatically adjust the degree to which light illuminates based on the amount of daylight entering a space.
  • Installation of solar energy applications at three facilities for electric power.

EPA’s ENERGY STAR is an energy efficiency platform designed to assist with energy savings and protecting the environment. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use 35 percent less energy, on average, than similar buildings, and supply 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. More information is available at