Dan Benishek represents Michigan’s 1st district in Congress. In August, he traveled throughout his district with a group called the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, meeting with business owners, military leaders and elected officials who repeatedly deal with energy issues.
In a recent op-ed published in the Manistee News Advocate, the Michigan Republican said his key takeaway from the tour was that while it is important to increase domestic supplies of energy, “focusing on energy efficiency can have an immediate impact at work and at home.”
As an example, Rep. Benishek cited a partnership between the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce and the Traverse City Light and Power Co. called TCSaves that helps area businesses become more energy efficient.
During a recent CICE-organized trip to Washington, Traverse City Chamber President Doug Luciani shared details about the success of the loan program directly with Congressman Benishek and other federal lawmakers, highlighting how most of the projects have a return on investment of less than three years.
The chamber established the energy efficiency loan program in 2012 and later expanded it with support from Traverse City Light and Power Co. To date, the programs has made seven loans totaling $175,000. Companies that have received the loans have reduced their utility bills by $53,000 a year and saved more than 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, enough to power a half-million households for a month.
“We’re very encouraged with the impact of our energy efficiency loan revolving loan fund, not only from the energy savings but also the reduced utility costs for our participants,” Luciani said in a piece highlighting the D.C. trip.