By Economic Development Corp. of the city of Detroit
The Economic Development Corp. of the city of Detroit (EDC) voted February 28 to approve $891,000 in SmartBuildings Detroit matching grants to make energy-saving improvements on 10 buildings, including two Midtown residential projects, an office building, a parking garage and six structures owned by Wayne County Community College District. Under the program guidelines, the grants must be matched at a 3:1 ratio, and are capped at $100,000 per building.
This set of grants is expected to leverage $6.2 million in additional investments from the building owners or other sources, and represents total new investments of $7.1 million. Grantees will monitor and report their actual energy cost savings from the completed work to the EDC.
Wayne County Community College District will use its $600,000 to replace old boilers, install high-efficiency lighting and make other energy-conservation improvements to a building on its Eastern Detroit Campus at 5901 Conner St., and five other buildings on its Northwest Detroit Campus at 8200 W. Outer Drive. The total cost of the investments is estimated at $4.9 million, and they are projected to generate an annual savings of $200,000 in energy costs. The maximum grant for each of the six buildings is $100,000.
“Building owners who want to make improvements to save their energy costs are taking great advantage of the SmartBuildings Detroit progam,” said project manager Scott Veldhuis. “This is the time to act, because all work has to be completed by this time next year.” The boundaries of the program include the Central Business District, Midtown, New Center, the Eastern Market, the East Jefferson and Riverfront Corridor, all the Detroit Works Demonstration Areas, Southwest Detroit and other specific areas, as well the sites of most of the city’s major educational and health care institutions.
Commercial building owners may apply for grants and loans totaling up to $100,000 for eligible energy-saving projects. Applicants will generally be required to leverage grant funds 3:1 with money from other sources and to limit their loans to 40% of total eligible project costs. Projects must be completed by March of 2013. In general, any improvements identified in an energy assessment for the building are eligible. These might include:
Building Enclosure - Insulation and weatherization, glass replacement.
Building Systems – Interior and exterior lighting and electrical, HVAC, low flow water/plumbing.
Alternative Energy Generation - Solar panels, geothermal, wind, and water systems
Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in the city of Detroit. DEGC is led by a 60-member board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders. Its 35 professionals provide staff services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city.