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Every year 24,000 people die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Every year 38,000 heart attacks occur because of pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Every year 12,000 hospital admissions and 550,000 people suffering asthma attacks result from power plant pollution.

Every year, coal-fired power plants release 48 tons of mercury nationwide.

Power plants release over 40% of total U.S. C02 emissions, a primary contributor to global warming...

...and yet the coal industry wants you to believe that building more coal fired power plants in Michigan is a good idea!

...and now utilities want to burn (as biomass) our trees that capture and store harmful carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we need to live

 

Conservation | The Home Energy Saver Calculator

Grant would help pay for energy efficiency
TRAVERSE CITY — A $40,000 grant is available for cities, villages and townships to help with energy efficiency. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. The grant is offered through the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and is available to incorporated cities, villages and townships in Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties. The money can be used for planning and implementation at public buildings. For more information and application instructions, go to www.nwm.org.

Survey Shows 73% of Lighting and Building Pros Using LEDs
Two really surprising numbers come from this survey of "over 350 facilities decision-makers and lighting designers across the education, healthcare, hospitality, office and retail sectors." 73% of building and lighting professionals are currently using LEDs or planning to use LED lighting in their commercial spaces. 76% of lighting professionals surveyed believe it is more important to have lighting that saves money over its lifetime, even if it costs more to purchase and install.

US food waste worth more than offshore drilling
More energy is wasted in the perfectly edible food discarded by people in the US each year than is available in oil and gas reserves off the nation's coastlines. Recent estimates suggest that 16 per cent of the energy consumed in the US is used to produce food. Yet at least 25 per cent of food is wasted each year. Michael Webber and Amanda Cuellar at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin calculate that this is the equivalent of about 2150 trillion kilojoules lost each year. That's more than could be gained from many popular strategies to improve energy efficiency.

The Michigan Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program
Upon final approval from the Department of Energy, the State of Michigan hopes to have the program available to residential customers by mid-February 2010. MEEARP will include: refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, propane and oil furnaces, solar hot water heaters, and propane hot water heaters. MEEARP is available to residential customers only.

Start With Waste Reduction
Ever since the ill-fated journey of the infamous Long Island garbage barge in 1987, Americans have been acutely aware that there is no place called “away” where the garbage all goes, and there are no magic bullets to solve our waste problems. Recycling saves three to five times the amount of energy that incineration generates. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to achieve far more successful recycling rates than the dismal performance in New York and most of the country. San Francisco, for instance, has set a goal of sending zero waste to landfills or incinerators by 2020, and is already achieving an impressive 72 percent recovery rate through aggressive recycling, reuse, and composting programs.

Energy Stars for Everyone!
Mar. 26, 2010—Energy Star is often lauded as one of the federal government's most successful energy efficiency programs. Most Americans have seen the logo on air conditioners, refrigerators, lamps, and laptops. The Energy Star stamp of approval is supposedly reserved for products that use 20 to 30 percent less energy than federal standards for appliances. But an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the program hands out stars like candy. In fact, GAO investigators were able to get Energy Star approval for products that a) weren't even remotely energy efficient and b) didn't actually exist.

2009 Michigan Tax Rebates pdf
Federal and State Tax Credits and Utility Provider Rebates For Michigan consumers that have already purchased energy efficient products, please look at the federal and state tax incentives to see if you're eligible. Certain criteria apply.

A Clean-Energy Home Is Where the Heart Is
This economic downturn has perhaps been cruelest because it attacked this security for working families, hitting us quite literally where we live. But now a smart proposal for a HOME STAR program to help homeowners invest in energy efficiency is moving in the White House and on Capitol Hill. Rebuilding American homes to use less energy will not only cut monthly bills and improve the value of our investments; it will put people back to work immediately.

The Energy Efficiency Program Industry Reaching Higher
Energy efficiency is maturing as an industry. With the widespread recognition by ratepayers, regulators, and elected officials that global climate change presents a real threat, and that energy efficiency presents a real solution, the focus on what energy efficiency programs can achieve has intensified. With larger budgets and higher expectations comes greater responsibility. State and provincial regulations are decoupling prices, increasingly treating efficiency on an equal footing with energy supply, and trending to “all cost-effective efficiency” as a first choice for new supply.

America's Greenest City: on Conservation
Grand Rapids—On a sunny afternoon in Grand Rapids, a group of earnest, middle-age folks is gathered in a conference room, looking at slides of wind turbines and charts about wasteful energy use. A full-bearded man, who looks as if he's just back from a nature walk, talks about his plans to build a home showcasing the latest in low-impact design. At the front of the room, the speaker asks, pep-rally style, "What's the most effective source of renewable energy today? Conservation!"

Alaska: How to Use Half the Electricty Used in 2000
The REEL in Alaska Roadman was prepared by the Alaska Conservation Alliance for policymakers. Energy efficiency done right costs less money, and provides services needed in affordable and efficient ways.

Copenhagen and the new American reality
Although global emissions are still rising, U.S. emissions are falling, fast. Since 2007, they are down 9 percent, in large part because Americans are using 2 million barrels less oil each day. Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute believes that "the United States has entered a new energy era. Peak carbon is now history. What had appeared to be hopelessly difficult is happening at amazing speed." Economic devastation is one cause of lower emissions. Burdened with debt and starved for credit, the growth engine has seized. Construction is at a standstill, sprawl on sabbatical and storefronts are blinking out and idle. Over the coming decades, coal is likely to lose market share to wind, solar and natural gas. Thirty-four states have adopted renewable electricity standards, and some of them are aggressive. Saving energy, water, soil and carbon -- plugging the leaks -- will be essential if we hope to reboot the economy; some economists argue that future growth will be impossible without it.

Unlocking energy efficiency in the U.S. economy
The research shows that the U.S. economy has the potential to reduce annual non-transportation energy consumption by roughly 23 percent by 2020, eliminating more than $1.2 trillion in waste – well beyond the $520 billion upfront investment (not including program costs) that would be required. The reduction in energy use would also result in the abatement of 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually – the equivalent of taking the entire U.S. fleet of passenger vehicles and light trucks off the roads.

Cash for Caulkers could mean $12K per home
President Obama proposed a new program Tuesday that would reimburse homeowners for energy-efficient appliances and insulation, part of a broader plan to stimulate the economy. The administration didn't provide immediate details, but said it would work with Congress on crafting legislation. Steve Nadel, director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, who's helping write the bill, said a homeowner could receive up to $12,000 in rebates.

Carbon capture’s done in Holland Michigan
Holland, MI — The U.S. Department of Energy’s decision not to extend a $380 million federal grant for a carbon-capture project in Holland eliminates the leading motivation for the Holland Board of Public Works to expand its James De Young Power Plant by constructing a new 78 megawatt generator. Now, with the carbon-capture option off the table and Michigan mired in a deep and prolonged recession, can such a major expansion be justified? Estimates of future power demand made just a few years ago now seem outdated. (The Michigan Public Services Commission in 2007 projected 1.4 percent annual growth in the state, while the BPW based its plans on a 1.3 percent annual rate locally.) Power demand today is falling, not rising. Once a topic limited largely to environmentalists, saving energy is on everyone’s minds these days; whether it’s a car or an appliance or home heating, energy costs are now factored into countless consumer decisions. Almost every other home appliance on the market consumes far less energy than models made a decade ago and businesses are routinely turning to “green building” designs. We don’t think this is a fad — conservation is now part of our culture. At the same time, the economy in Holland and across the state stubbornly refuses to rebound.

Third Annual Strategic Directions in the Electric Utility Industry Survey pdf
"The major options for reducing electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions, in rough order of cost effectiveness are:" 1. Energy efficiency (See P59 and P60)

Consumer Electric Bills 7% Lower in 2020 Thanks To Efficiency
The main argument conservatives and big oil and coal companies use against the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) is that it would cripple American households with a crushing energy tax. To make that claim, they have distorted cost estimates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and conducted their own biased studies. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency obliterated these phony numbers with the release of its economic analysis of H.R. 2454. The EPA estimated the bill would actually lower household electricity bills: As a result of energy efficiency measures, consumer spending on utility bills would be roughly 7% lower in 2020 as a result of the legislation.

Ann Arbor DDA Energy Conservation Program Enters Second Year!
New components added to the DDA program this year include a partnership with the City of Ann Arbor Energy Office to make zero interest loans available to participants through a federal grant and also, the DDA energy program will provide assistance to applicants to take advantage of the utility rebates now available from DTE Energy for energy improvements. These rebates can be added to the DDA rebates.

EPA Commends Corporate Leaders for Major Greenhouse Gas Reductions Release
Twenty-seven companies are also being commended for announcing aggressive GHG reduction goals. Combined, the Climate Leaders companies are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. “EPA’s Climate Leaders are sending a clear message that the choice between our economy and our environment is a false choice,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “They’re doing their part in the fight against climate change and giving consumers the power to support environmentally responsible choices. That leads to a better bottom line and a brighter future for everyone.”

2008 Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards for the State of Michigan
The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance analyzed the potential electricity savings that the State of Michigan could achieve through the adoption and implementation of an energy efficiency portfolio standard (EEPS) and a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in 2008. The purpose of this analysis is to explore the potential long-term impacts of the energy efficiency and renewable energy policies in Michigan and to illustrate the scale of the potential savings. Various scenarios for energy efficiency and renewable energy have been proposed in Michigan, through legislative activity, by the advocacy community, and by influential groups like the Midwestern Governors Association. They differ in percent goal for efficiency and for renewables and in the ramp-up schedule to reach those goals. The energy impact from these various possible scenarios is compared and contrasted below to help Michigan evaluate the plans and choose a path toward a clean energy future. As Michigan moves to adopt a new generation of energy legislation to address the myriad challenges that lie ahead, it can look to energy efficiency as the first. It is always less expensive (to the rate is to extract it, generate it, build it or buy it, and transport it from where it is produced to where it is needed.

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