Consumers Energy provides electricity to 1.8 million customers and natural gas to 1.7 million customers in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula; in total, they serve more than 6 million customers in Michigan.
In October 2008, the state of Michigan required the state’s investor-owned utilities, alternative retail suppliers, electric cooperatives and municipal electric utilities to develop and implement an energy optimization program. Consumers Energy hired DNV GL to design and implement their program.
The Business Energy Efficiency Programs include a Large Business program to install energy efficient equipment at qualifying customer locations, a Direct Install Program designed for qualifying small businesses that offered higher incentive levels for a limited number of energy efficiency measures, and a Pilot & Specialty Program for specific segments to determine the long-term opportunity for energy efficiency programs. As a part of the program’s emphasis on customer satisfaction, and as an additional method to help meet increased savings goals, a facility assessment program was implemented in 2015. In 2016, a midstream program was launched offering an instant discount on energy efficient lighting products. This program was expanded the following year to include Food Service and HVAC.
The self-direct program allows eligible customers to run their own energy efficiency programs and not participate in the Consumers Energy Business Energy Efficiency Programs.
DNV GL, in conjunction with their partner, Franklin Energy implemented a business energy efficiency program that achieved Consumers Energy’s first year goals and has since continued to meet and exceed the client’s stated savings goals every year. DNV GL designed a commercial and industrial energy optimization program consisting of two main elements: an incentive program, which is called Business Energy Efficiency Programs, and a self-direct program. In 2009, the Small Business Trade Ally program was launched, offering higher incentives to small business customers. In 2016, the assessment team achieved an exceptional customer satisfaction rating of 9.2. The program has consistently achieved scores in the 8.5-9+ range. Since the assessment program was implemented in 2015, over 17,000 assessments have been conducted.
2019 marks the tenth year of the program, and it has grown to offer over 400 different energy efficiency incentives. The programs meet the client’s customer satisfaction goals and exceeds the savings goals every year and has grown from 10 to 60+ employees since it started in 2009. The Pilot & Specialty programs increased from three in 2009 to 13 in 2017. The total program savings count up to 2.4 TWh electricity and 1296 million m3 natural gas. All together they avoided 457 kilotons of CO2 emissions.