Sustainable Development

A collection of resources on energy tax incentives, energy conservation measures, renewable technologies, installations or modifications to manage and reduce consumption of energy, technical assistance, and technical assistance are available to assist you.  Financing can be found through loans and grants that may also leverage other private and public sources of funding.  Multiple programs are available for commercial, industrial, utility, and agricultural businesses along with houses, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, boats and similar properties.

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Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) 

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows taxpayers eligible for the federal renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) to take the federal business energy investment tax credit (ITC).  Commercial, industrial, utility, and agricultural businesses are eligible.  Eligible renewable technologies include solar water heat, solar space heat, solar thermal electric, solar thermal process heat, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, geothermal electric, fuel cells, geothermal heat pumps, combined heat and power (CHP), solar hybrid lighting, fuel cells using renewable fuels, microturbines, and geothermal direct-use.  Tax credits available are 30% for solar, fuel cells and small wind; and 10% for geothermal, microturbines and CHP.  Maximum incentives are fuel cells: $1,500 per 0.5 kW, microturbines: $200 per kW, small wind turbines placed in service 10/4/08 - 12/31/08: $4,000, small wind turbines placed in service after 1/1/09: no limit, and all other eligible technologies: no limit.  In general, credits are available for eligible systems placed in service on or before December 31, 2016. The energy property must be operational in the year in which the credit is first taken.  For more information on Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC), contact the IRS at 1.800.829.1040 or visit Energy.gov at http://energy.gov/savings/business-energy-investment-tax-credit-itc

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Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that works closely with the City of Detroit and other partners to support existing businesses and to bring new companies and investments to the city. The DEGC also acts as staff for a number of public authorities whose board members are appointed by the Mayor and approved by Detroit City Council. Each of those entities has distinct responsibilities and powers, but they are very closely related. By using a common staff – DEGC – the work of these public authorities is well coordinated and avoids duplication. DEGC also works directly for the City of Detroit under contract and manages economic development efforts funded by private and foundation contributions, grants and contracts.  For more information, visit http://www.degc.org or call 313.963.2940.

The Green Grocer Project (GGP)

The Green Grocer Project will help create competitive, sustainable grocery offerings in Detroit neighborhoods while providing improved fresh food access to Detroit residents.  The Green Grocer Project was launched with a $500,000 seed grant from The Kresge Foundation. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) manages the program, which includes a Grocer Clearinghouse Program for existing store operators and operators interested in making new investments in Detroit; Technical Assistance Program to participating grocers in addressing operational and store development needs; and Funding Assistance Program for store improvements.

The Green Grocer Project program is open to grocers whose stores are located within the boundaries of the City of Detroit and which offer significant merchandise in the following categories: produce, meat, dairy, baked goods, and grocery items. Visit http://www.degc.org/businesses/green-grocer-project or for full program details and eligibility requirements, please contact the DEGC Green Grocer Project desk at 313.963.8839, or email [email protected].

Renewable Energy Detroit Initiative (REDI)

The Renewable Energy Detroit Initiative mission is to attract and grow a Detroit-based cluster of energy-related component manufacturers, and industry service providers.  The REDI initiative focuses on Wind, Solar, Battery, and specific application areas (includes waste-to-energy, fuels/bio, lighting, energy efficiency, and advanced manufacturing).   Partners of the REDI program include public utilities, NextEnergy, TechTown, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Michigan Energy Office and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation). 

Services offered involve finding affordable and functional real estate that supports manufacturing needs and connections to the local, regional, and international supply chain.  REDI has a network of partners who specialize in project development resources (such as technology validation, procurement opportunities, and employment training programs) and can offer guidance through the various approval processes at the local and State levels.  For more information, visit http://www.degc.org/ or contact Tracie Tillinger at 313-963-2940 or via e-mail at [email protected].

SmartBuildings Detroit Grant Program and Green Fund Loan

The Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit (EDC), together with Detroit Development Fund (DDF) is offering an energy efficiency loan product to small commercial customers.  Loans between $50,000 and $150,000 are available for commercial properties seeking to install energy saving improvements.   

 SmartBuildings Loans must finance eligible energy-saving improvements in commercial buildings in Detroit that are owned or occupied by nonprofit organizations or for-profit entities including, but not limited to, grocery stores, restaurants, civic organizations, minority-owned businesses, low-income housing developers, etc.   

Energy saving improvements could include:

  • Building Enclosures - Insulation and weatherization, glass replacement. 
  • Building Systems – Lighting and electrical, HVAC, low flow water/plumbing. 
  • Alternative Energy Generation - Solar panels, geothermal, wind, & water systems            

For more detailed information visit decg.org. To receive an application contact: Andrea Haas, Associate Project Manager Economic Development Corporation 313.237.4622 [email protected]  

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Detroit Renaissance Zones (RZ)

The Renaissance Zone program is a collaborative effort between the City of Detroit, the County of Wayne, and the State of Michigan to give tax incentives to residents and businesses. The City of Detroit has designated eighteen areas as Renaissance Zones. This program works to encourage economic stability and development within the eight designated areas of the City. The resident or business must be physically located within one of the sixteen sub-zones and must be qualified. 

These tax incentives include a waiver of city income and utility users taxes, most city property taxes, county property taxes, and state income tax or single business tax. The program applies to participants who live, own property, or businesses conducting business within the area and are not delinquent in any local, county, or state taxes. 

Since this program involves the exemption of tax and applies to businesses and residents alike, it is crucial for participants to apply and qualify, through the Renaissance Zone Processing Center, for these tax benefits. 

Once qualified, the resident, business, or property owner will enjoy the exemption throughout the duration of the program without reapplying. However, if the resident, business, or property owner changes his/her status in any way, they must notify the Renaissance Zone Processing Center within 10 days.

For a street locator guide for the individual sub-zones, please double-click the link. For an application to the program or for other questions regarding the Renaissance Zones, please call Kim Miller at (313) 224-3053 . TTY: 711 or (800) 649-3777

For more information on Michigan Renaissance Zones go to http://medc.michigan.org/services/sitedevelopment/renzone/

Geographical area of the Detroit Renaissance Zones (pdf file)

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DTE Energy

Custom Incentives for Businesses

Businesses that are not eligible for Prescriptive Incentives can save energy and money with DTE Energy’s customized incentives for energy-efficient projects. To be eligible, custom measures must reduce net electric and/or gas energy consumption by improving system efficiency. Projects that save energy by reducing service levels do not qualify. Custom incentives are paid based on the project’s first year energy savings. Examples of custom measures include: exhaust heat recovery, constant volume to variable volume water or air distribution, process improvements, upgrade of a refrigeration compressor, and air compressor improvements.

Projects that are not eligible for an incentive include fuel switching (e.g. electric to gas or gas to electric), changes in operational and/or maintenance practices or simple control modifications not involving capital costs, on-site electricity generation, projects that involve peak-shifting (and not kWh savings), and projects involving renewable energy. This program is not available to DTE Energy customers in multifamily buildings or complexes consisting of five or more units per building.

Custom incentives are paid at $0.08/kWh or $4.00/MCF of the first year energy savings. The payback period has to be between one and eight years and the total calculated incentives cannot exceed 50 percent of the measure cost. For more information on the Custom Incentives for Business program, visit here or contact DTE Energy’s Your Energy Savings Program at 1.866.796.0512

Multifamily Dwelling Program 

Owners or managers of a multifamily building with 5 or more units can contact us about energy-efficient upgrades to both tenant and common areas. You can lower your energy bills and protect the environment by taking advantage of energy-efficient upgrades at a fraction of the investment cost. DTE Energy is offering substantial co-pays to assist you with making improvements in the common areas of your multifamily building. The amount of the co-pay will be based on the operating hours, existing and proposed equipment. Common area upgrades include:

Energy Efficient Lighting

  • High Performance T5 and T8 lighting retrofits
  • Hard wired CFL Fixtures
  • LED Exit Signs
  • Lighting controls and sensors
  • Parking lot and safety lighting

 Energy Efficient Gas upgrades

  • Pipe wrap insulation
  • Boiler tune up
  • Steam trap repair/replacement
  • Boiler controls  

In-Unit Improvements

With the in-unit incentives program, residents of your multifamily building can benefit from installation of energy-efficient natural gas and electric upgrades that save energy and water. Energy efficiency improvements include the following measures:

  • ENERGY STAR® compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use up to 75% less energy than incandescent
  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators
  • Pipe wrap insulation

How to participate:  The Multifamily Dwelling program is available to DTE Energy customers in multifamily buildings or complexes consisting of five or more units per building.

*Participation is on a limited, first come-first serve basis. Measure eligibility depends on customer type and existing equipment. A qualifying, walk through energy audit must be completed prior to any installations.  Get started today by calling 866.796.0512 (toll free) or 313.297.4110. 

Prescriptive Incentives for Your Business

Incentives are available for an array of energy-saving technologies, both electric and gas including energy-efficient lighting, motors and drives, controls, heating ventilation and air conditioning, refrigeration and more. If you have an energy-saving project that does not fall under this prescriptive incentive program, you may qualify for the Custom Incentive Program. This program is not available to DTE Energy customers in multifamily buildings or complexes consisting of five or more units per building. See the Multifamily Dwelling Program to learn about energy-saving upgrades to both tenant and common areas.

To participate in Prescriptive Incentives, view the list of eligible electric measures on page 7 of the DTE Energy’s Your Energy Savings Program Application found here. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the Prescriptive and Custom Incentive page at dteenergy.com or contact DTE Energy’s Your Energy Savings Program at 1.866.796.0512

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Michigan Saves

Business Energy Financing (Statewide)

The Michigan Saves Business Energy Financing program offers financing for energy efficient improvements. Eligible improvements include lighting system upgrades, heating & cooling, food service equipment, building operations, and envelope improvements. Financing ranges from $2,000 to $250,000, with 2-5 year terms, and rates from as low as 5.9%. For more information, visit http://www.michigansaves.org or contact Michigan Saves at 517.484.6474 or via email at  [email protected].

Commercial Contractor Enrollment Business Energy Financing (Statewide)

Enrollment for energy auditors and installation contractors for Michigan Saves Business Energy Financing is now open statewide. Whether you are an equipment dealer or handle comprehensive renovations, Michigan Saves and its financing partner, Ervin Leasing, can help you close the deal with clients with our below-market rates and extended terms for energy efficiency improvements. Business Energy Financing serves all types of businesses with special marketing and incentives for the food industry. Contractor applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For application, Commercial Contractor Enrollment Business Energy Financing instructions and other details for contractors visit http://michigansaves.org/upload/file/resource/32_guidelines-for-authorized-contractors-bu.pdf  or call 517.484.6474.

Home Energy Loan Program

The Home Energy Loan Program makes saving energy at home easy, affordable, and smart. A Michigan Saves authorized contractor will help you choose the right projects to make your home more comfortable and more energy efficient, and will walk you through the financing process. Michigan Saves: Easy As 1-2-3:

  • Find a Michigan Saves authorized contractor to get an estimate on qualifying energy improvements. Have an energy assessment or pick from the Michigan Saves Eligible Measures List.
  • Complete the loan application and get a decision within minutes. Your contractor will initiate this process.
  • Once the loan is approved, your contractor makes the energy improvements. Your contractor is paid after the work is done to your satisfaction.

 The loan type is unsecured, personal loan.  Eligible improvements are energy-saving improvements pre-qualified by Michigan Saves or those recommended by a whole-home energy assessment.  Loan amounts range from $1,000–$30,000.  Loan terms of $1000 - $4,999 are 1 year for every $1,000 and loan terms for $5,000 and up have flexible terms of up to 10 years (e.g., sample monthly payment for 7-year, $6,000 loan at 7% APR is $90.56).  Loan rates are a fixed APR not to exceed 7%.  Eligible properties are owner-occupied, single-family (1–4 unit) homes (primary or secondary residence). Ask a Michigan Saves participating lender for details.  For more information, visit http://www.michigansaves.org or contact Michigan Saves at 517.484.6474 or via email at [email protected].

Better Buildings for Michigan

The BetterBuildings for Michigan program was designed to create a sustainable energy efficiency market by providing outreach and education to increase demand, a skilled energy efficiency workforce to meet that demand, and the tools for lenders to make ongoing investments in energy efficiency in residential, commercial, industrial, and public buildings. The program was funded by a United Stated Department of Energy (DOE) grant, and implemented by a diverse set of stakeholders throughout the state. The knowledge and outcomes derived through the program have enabled the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), along with the State of Michigan, Michigan Saves, and their partners, to understand what drives energy efficiency improvements and provides a scalable, replicable model for national rollout.

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PACE Equity (Property Assessed Clean Energy)

PACE offers an innovative, affordable way to address the challenges today’s owners face. It uses the financial power of long term energy savings to make improvements possible immediately, while spreading the cost over an extended period of time. PACE outperforms traditional financing in many ways:

  •  Boosts property value without negatively impacting your balance sheet
  •  No out-of-pocket costs, and no upfront cash requirements
  •  Passes the costs  more easily to the tenants who benefit from the improvements
  •  Obligations pass to new owners when the property is sold
  •  Preserves borrowing capacity for other projects

For more information visit www.pace-equity.com or contact Robert Mattler at 248.762.4370 or via email at [email protected]   

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Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate)

According to Section 136 of the U.S. Code, energy conservation subsidies provided to customers by public utilities, directly or indirectly, are non-taxable. The term "energy conservation measure" includes installations or modifications primarily designed to reduce consumption of electricity or natural gas, or to improve the management of energy demand.  Eligible dwelling units include houses, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, boats and similar properties. If a building or structure contains both dwelling units and other units, any subsidy must be properly allocated. 

Utility subsidies that may come in the form of credits or reduced rates might also be non-taxable, according to IRS Publication 525. The federal exemption is available for residential and multi-family residential properties with eligible renewable technologies that include solar water heat, solar space heat, and photovoltaics.  For more information on Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate), call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040 or visithttp://www.irs.gov/publications/p525/index.html.

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State of Michigan

Energy Efficiency Grants

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) Energy Efficiency Grant program, funded by the State's Low-Income and Energy Efficiency Fund, supports the implementation of energy efficiency projects and renewable energy projects in the state. The MPSC issues periodic RFPs in three categories: (1) energy efficiency for low-income clients, (2) energy financial assistance to low-income clients, and (3) energy efficiency for all customers. In addition to energy efficiency projects that reduce energy demand, previous grants have supported renewable energy project for solar, wind, anaerobic digesters, fuel cells and biofuel application.

Eligibility for these programs are dependent on the specifics of individual Request for Proposal (RFP), businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies and/or schools are eligible to apply. The MPSC has emphasized that this program does not provide any direct funding to homeowners or renters. Interested applicants should review currently available requests for proposals to ensure they qualify before contacting the MPSC for additional information.

Recent RFP solicitations have addressed subjects such as the creation of an energy efficiency and renewable energy financing system; renewable energy investments and energy efficiency upgrades by non-profits, schools, and public agencies; offshore wind feasibility studies and testing; and market advancement of smart-grid energy storage technologies. Detailed RFP information on current and past solicitations is available on the MPSC Energy Efficiency Grant website. For more information, visit http://www.michigan.gov/mpsc/0,1607,7-159-52493---,00.html  on potential future grant funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Small Business P2 Loans

The Small Business P2 Loan Program (P2 Loan Program) provides loans of up to $400,000 at an interest rate of 5% or less to existing independently owned businesses with 500 or fewer full time employees. Projects that qualify for P2 loan funding include those that eliminate or reduce waste at the business location (source reduction), result in environmentally sound reuse and recycling for the loan applicant's generated wastes, conserve energy or water on-site, or are a qualified agricultural energy production system. Funding for the P2 Loan Program comes from a revolving loan fund, made possible through passage of the Clean Michigan Initiative in November of 1998. Low interest loans are available to all Michigan businesses including manufacturing, farming, retail and service. For more information, call 1.800.662.9278 or visit http://www.michigan.gov/p2loan.

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