JACKSON, Mich. — A manufacturer from Cadillac, Michigan; a Jackson County, Michigan, public school district; and a Kalamazoo, Michigan, greenhouse were among business customers Consumers Energy honored for successfully using energy efficiency to reduce their energy use and lower bills.

“Our energy efficiency programs have helped Michigan households and businesses save over $855 million since 2009, with more than half of the dollars going to businesses. That helps Michigan businesses grow,” said Garrick Rochow, Consumers Energy’s vice president and chief customer officer. “We’re pleased to recognize businesses that are realizing the power of energy efficiency, and they can provide a tangible example to others.”

Michigan Rubber Products Inc. (Cadillac) was named energy efficiency Project of the Year in the industrial category. The company completed building upgrades to the HVAC systems, process cooling, and lighting of its Cadillac facility that will save over 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually — the equivalent of what more than 125 households use in an entire year.

Consumers Energy provided over $90,000 in energy efficiency incentives to help Michigan Rubber Products and its project manager, Belmont-based Hurst Mechanical, to carry out the work. The company should reduce its annual energy costs by $215,000.

East Jackson Community Schools (Jackson County) was named the Large Commercial Project of the Year for its renovation of East Jackson Elementary School. The building, previously a middle school, had been closed for five years before reopening this fall. The energy efficient design features modifications to the building envelope, mechanical systems, and lighting technologies.

The public school district received a $63,000 energy efficiency incentive from Consumers Energy for the work, overseen by Kalamazoo-based Diekema Hamann. It will save an estimated 236,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 4.3 million cubic feet of natural gas annually through the upgrades.

Panse Greenhouses LLC (Kalamazoo) was named the Small Commercial Project of the Year. Its work included a greenhouse environmental control system, which integrated HVAC climate control, high-efficiency grow lights, and LED fixtures into a fully controllable system. The greenhouses experienced energy savings — 21,000 kilowatt-hours and 3 million cubic feet of natural gas — plus the benefits of better growing conditions for plants.

Panse Greenhouses received a $42,000 incentive from Consumers Energy for work performed by Zwart Electric Co., based in Paw Paw.

“The variety of these projects illustrates that our energy efficiency programs can provide a benefit for any business, large or small,” Rochow said. “I encourage any business owner who is interested in managing energy use and reducing costs to contact us and see how we can help.”

For more information, visit www.consumersenergy.com/mybusiness.

Publication date: 12/21/2015