Energy Smart Program

Andrew Reynolds, Community Energy Services Manager with the Holland Board of Public Works (HBPW), outlined what is going on with electrification. Now the term electrification means switching from fossil fuel to electric equipment. He asked if any of us had a heat pump in our home. People were unsure until Andrew pointed out that refrigerators, freezers, and A/C units are all heat pumps. Heat pumps simply move heat, so your refrigerator stays cool by moving any heat into your house. There are even hot water heaters that work using a heat pump. Electricity generates less carbon into the atmosphere than other fuels and is generally cheaper. HBPW residential electric rates are 40% less than Consumers Energy and DTE.
The City of Holland approved an energy plan in 2011 that set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions from 24 metric tons per capita in 2010 to 10 mt by 2050. Last year the city achieved 17 mt and the goal has been revised to 12 mt by 2030.
HBPW assistance starts with their Home Energy 101 program, which is run by non-profits in the community. This is available to homes within the city limits of Holland. A comprehensive evaluation along with recommendations is made available. The homeowner can work with approved HBPW contractors to make improvements as desired.
HBPW has the energy smart rebate program and the federal government has rebate money allocated in the Inflation Reduction Act. The rules for the federal program are not written yet, but congress approved up to $14,000 per household for authorized improvements. Andrew showed an example where you might get more back in rebates than the cost of a water heater.