Post Written by Mark Huizenga, MCEF Leadership Council member & Board President

Energy efficiency is crucial to an “All of the Above” Michigan energy plan and it is one of the most effective ways to protect ratepayers, create jobs, and lessen our dependence on our natural resources. By utilizing energy-saving technology, we can help save money for our schools, hospitals, businesses and homes. 

The holidays are a great opportunity to discuss ways that we can become more energy efficient in our everyday lives.

As the Mayor of Walker, MI, I have seen first-hand the immense differences switching to more energy-efficient technology makes to a city’s bottom line – meaning more money in my residents’ wallets and a more efficient use of local taxpayer dollars.  The cheapest form of energy is the energy we don’t use. In fact, for every $1 spent on energy efficiency, $4 are saved, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum.

I have also seen how energy efficiency can save lives. My company, Key Green Solutions, provides a comprehensive energy, waste, water, food and carbon footprint calculator for hospitals in 22 states and one province. Key Green is rapidly being recognized as the premier sustainability management software suite for hospital systems across the United States. I am proud to help these hospitals effectively manage and decrease their energy use where it’s not needed. The money these hospitals save on their electric bills can then go towards hiring medical staff and buying life-saving medical equipment.

By optimizing how we use energy, we can build fewer power plants and move towards a cleaner energy future for generations to come.  A cleaner environment will also mean fewer health problems such as asthma, cancer, heart disease and stroke that are caused by pollution related to coal power plants.

I urge individuals and companies alike to learn how they can make a difference while saving money on their electric bills. Use the holidays to think about ways that you can become more energy efficient; it could be as simple as turning off the lights in a room no one is using or replacing your appliances with more energy-efficient models. Check out this list for more energy-saving ideas and put more money back in your pocket:

·        Use LED Christmas lights

·        Use a timer to automatically turn off your lights

·        If you’re buying your loved ones electronic Christmas gifts this season pick ones that have the energy star sticker

·        Reduce the amount of time the oven has to be on by baking several dishes at the same time Turn off overhead lights when tree lights are on

·        Use candles for decorative lighting

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