For many small business owners, the idea of trying to manage energy usage and utility relationships can be a bit overwhelming. Would energy efficiency upgrades really impact a bottom line? Who can assist when there are outage issues? Is the price being paid for service at the correct rate?
The Small Business Association of Michigan can provide small businesses with a simple approach to energy solutions. Through SBAM Energy Solutions, an innovative partnership with Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, a one-stop approach to energy management for busy small business owners is now available. After just one year of collaboration, current participating members are expected to save $50,000! Those savings would help heat an average Michigan home for 29 years. Imagine what this program can do for not only a small business’ bottom line but also for the environment.
“Thanks to this new partnership, SBAM will be able to deliver small business owners red-carpet access to Consumers Energy and DTE Energy programs that will improve their energy efficiency and potentially save them money on their energy bills,” said SBAM President & CEO Rob Fowler. Though the partnership is with Consumers and DTE, SBAM will work with other utilities to provide solutions to members in other service areas as well.
What can small business owners expect from SBAM Energy Solutions? Members who engage with the SBAM team will be able to have a conversation about everything from rates to energy audits. A dedicated specialist will help ensure the correct pricing structure is in place, share available billing options, assist in the set-up of an energy audit and provide details on energy efficiency programs. Our team knows you are a busy small business owner. We want to help you navigate working with the utilities so you can focus on running your business. Whether you’re a building owner looking to overhaul HVAC or a renter wondering about better lighting options, we can help. Our team knows how to connect with contractors and has details on available rebates and the best financing options.
Fenton Winery and Brewery in Fenton, MI is now brighter thanks to the SBAM Energy Solutions team. “We were delighted with the ease and convenience of the SBAM Energy Solutions program,” says Ginny Sherrow, co-owner of Fenton Winery and Brewery. “Through the program we were able to get all of our old production lights replaced and upgraded with new LED technology—and not only did our utility Consumers Energy pay for the entire retrofit through a locally contracted electrician but our company will now be saving on energy bills for years to come.” In fact, Sherrow expects to save $1,800 annually!
“The Energy Solutions office has been great so far. Being able to connect members with the right people to answer their energy questions has been really well received,” said SBAM Energy Advocate Caile Richards. “We can take the guesswork out of connecting with utilities and service providers.”
SBAM Energy Solutions programs work for a wide range of businesses – even those in rented space. Sonja Parker owns Integrated Design, a software company in Ann Arbor. She recently had the opportunity to utilize the SBAM Energy Solutions services. "The team has been a fantastic resource by guiding me through the process of replacing incandescent lighting with LED lighting and making sure our HVAC is set up properly. I've leaned on Caile and the DTE team to research contractors in my area, and help me understand what programs are available." Parker’s staff is thrilled with the new lighting as well. Her team has the ability to control cubicle lighting to suit individual preferences!
With SBAM Energy Solutions now in place, SBAM has become Michigan’s only business organization with full-time staff devoted to helping small business owners navigate energy decisions and optimize energy use. SBAM Energy Solutions services are available to all SBAM members. A free assessment is available at www.sbam.org/energy or by calling (800) 362-5461.