What do a bike shop in Ferndale, a vintage clothing store in Ann Arbor, a paint store in St. Clair Shores and more than 500 households in Royal Oak have in common? They are all part of MIGreenPower, a DTE program for customers interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
Approximately 5,000 of our customers throughout DTE’s service territory have joined the program since it launched in April 2017. So far, these customers have reduced CO2 emissions by more than 14,500 metric tons, the greenhouse gas benefit equivalent to taking 3,000 cars off the road for a year. *“If you live in an apartment or condo, or are looking for a more economical alternative to private solar, this program is definitely for you,” says Dave Harwood, director, Renewable Energy. “We have used the economy of scale of our universal wind and solar projects to bring everyone a more flexible and affordable option, and we are pleased to see customers signing up at such a rapid rate. Joining MIGreenPower provides our customers with access to more renewable energy for much less than it would cost to install a private system.”
Affordability and flexibility are two of the program’s key advantages. Customers choose how much of their home’s electricity use they want to attribute to renewable energy. An online calculator shows customers the level of environmental impact they can make as well as the corresponding change to their monthly bill.
“Most of the customers in our program are electing to match either 50 or 100 percent of their energy,” says Program Manager Julie Londo. “Customers can also change their participation level once a month if they want to move it up or down. We don’t require customers to sign a contract, another feature people seem to appreciate.”
Jon Hughes, owner of the Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop, joined the program last year. Hughes sees his participation as part of his commitment to living a more sustainable lifestyle. “I like the idea of using green energy,” Hughes says. “The more we can do to support environmental goals, the better things will be for future generations.”
Hughes summed up the slight increase to his bill this way: “It’s less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day. If it makes the world a little cleaner, it’s a worthwhile investment.”
Another aspect of the program customers appreciate is that it is local. The renewable energy that supplies this program comes from DTE’s newest renewable energy projects: the Pinnebog Wind Park, and solar arrays in Lapeer and Detroit. “These are tangible assets our customers can see, if they find themselves near any of these projects,” Londo explains.
Customers can enroll in MIGreenPower through the end of 2019. Why not join this growing community of Michiganders who are choosing to be more green?
*Avoided emissions and equivalencies are based on Egrid 2017 non-baseload emissions factors by subregion and the Environmental Protection Agency equivalencies calculator at http://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator.