Farmington Hills offering green building incentives

The city of Farmington Hills wants to share its wealth and make homes and businesses more energy-efficient in the meantime.

Federal
funding is still available for property owners looking to make
environmentally sound improvements. The stimulus money came from the U.S. Dept of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, with the purpose of reducing fossil fuel emissions and total energy use and improving energy efficiency.

“There’s
a broad range of improvements that qualify for the program,” says city
management assistant Nate Geinzer. Those include heat pumps, hot water
heaters, new windows, and other technologies. “We know as exciting as
energy efficiency can be in a home — the idea of reducing energy costs
appeals to most people — economy-wise, not everybody has the capital to
invest. Our EECBG funds provide a little extra incentive to take these
measures.”

The city has been getting multiple applications per
week, he says, and had awarded $14,000 by the end of last quarter since
its launch in December. He expects there will be money to award through
the busy fall season, even with an onslaught of people tightening up
their homes for winter.

Farmington Hills has also set aside money
to fund energy audits, although those have been of less interest;
Geinzer believes families with limited amounts of money to spend on
energy efficiency would invest in a product before an audit. “But for
homeowners who know there’s a lot to do in a home, but don’t know where
the best dollars could be spent, an energy audit is a good way to go,”
he points out.

The city received a total of $791,300 from the
Department of Energy, of which it set aside about $50,000 for its energy
efficiency improvement incentive program, as well as a separate fund
for its building energy audit incentive program. Other improvements
include renewable energy and energy enhancements at city hall, the
Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, and public information
dissemination.

Download an application here.

Source: Nate Geinzer, management assistant for the City of Farmington Hills
Writer: Kristin Lukowski