Program to save energy costs in Ontonagon County

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette Angela Yu and Melissa Davis informed Ontonagon Village Council and residents on programs that can save the village and residents money on their Energy bills, including a program for water heater replacement.

ninsula Planning & Development Region (WUPPDR) has been awarded funding to assist the village of Ontonagon in pursuing community energy planning to supplement or update existing plans.

During this week’s village council meeting, Angela Yu and Melissa Davis gave a presentation to the Ontonagon Village Council. Yu is an assistant regional planner for WUPPDR, while Davis is the managing director of New Power Tour, Inc.

Yu stated the five steps to create a Community Energy Management Plan.

“First step is to form a community leadership team, then identify and engage stakeholders,” she said.

The other steps include Assessing Village Assets, of which Yu brought up the Water Treatment Plant. The last two steps are to identify goals, strategies and an action plan. The final step is to develop Village Capital Improvement plan, specifically for energy investments.

“The Community Energy Plan (CEP) is a long term plan that focuses and guides efforts and actions towards energy waste reduction. It is a defined energy vision,” said Yu.

In Yu’s presentation, she stated that there may be equipment that the village could use today that would save future dollars.

“This includes future taxpayers,” she said.

In a handout to the council and residents at the meeting, it states that state and local governments spend $8 billion a year on energy to provide public services and meet constituent needs.

“At the same time, in many buildings, energy costs can be reduced by 20% or more through several energy efficiency measures and approaches,” Yu said.

Davis talked about a program that can help village residents save on energy bills.

“If you are income-qualified, heat with propane or fuel oil and live along SEMCO’s route, there is a valuable offer happening right now,” she said. “Efficiency United will cover the cost and installation of replacing your furnace and water heater with natural gas equipment to help you over the financial hurdle.”

Davis stated that connecting to natural gas to a resident’s house can be financed long term on the resident’s bill.

Other programs through New Power Tour (NPT) includes replacing water heaters at no cost to the resident, providing the resident is income-qualified.

“We have openings for 8-10 heat pump water heaters,” Davis said.

The NPT also has 3-4 electronically commutated motors (ECM) for income qualified residents that have a boiler heating system in their home.

“The ECM has a temperature sensor on it that shuts off when it comes to temp, which saves electricity,” said Davis.

For more information or to sign up on these New Power Tour programs, go too: newpowertour.com/Ontonagon or call Melissa Davis at 906-281-5986.

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