A group of Holland residents participates in a discussion of the city’s energy future lead by Don Triezenberg of the Community Energy Advisory Group
At a neighborhood gathering Tuesday, Sustainability Committee Vice-chair Don Triezenberg presented an overview of the energy choices that currently face Holland: spend $300 million on a coal-fired power plant, or spend $150 million on a natural gas plant and use the remaining $150 million to install district heating and create a loan-fund that can spur energy-efficiency city-wide.
The Community Energy Advisory Group is organizing a series of shareholder meetings spanning the next several months, with the goal of educating Holland on the energy choices their City Council is facing. CEAG believes that an investment of this magnitude is a community issue; the group is devoted to informing stakeholders of the decisions Holland faces and the options available to meet the city’s energy needs.
An open meeting will be held next Tuesday, June 19, at 6:30pm at Holland New Tech High School. CEAG also welcomes invitations to present at any local group and has ambitious outreach goals in place for the next several months. In order to meet these goals, CEAG has partnered with DwellTech Solutions to offer a free home energy audit for Holland residents that volunteer to host an energy plan meeting for their friends and neighbors. Email CEAG at HollandCEAG@gmail.com to volunteer!
Have an inefficient refrigerator or old dehumidifier taking up room in the basement? The Holland Board of Public Works has teamed up with Consumers Energy and Zeeland BPW to help you recycle old appliances and get rewarded for it!
Saturday, June 2, the utilities are hosting an appliance recycling drive at two different locations in the area: the Holland Board of Public Works Service Center (625 Hastings Ave, Holland) and the County Parking Lot in Grand Haven (414 Washington). The event runs from 9 am to 12 pm, and if you can’t make it over there during that time, you can arrange to have the appliance picked up by calling 877.270.3519.
Window air conditioners and dehumidifiers in working condition are eligible for a $15 rebate. Old refrigerators and freezers, which must be in working condition as well, are eligible for a $60 rebate. You can receive incentives for up to two appliances in any combination–but you are welcome to drop off more than that.
Local businesses and organizations have been extremely generous in their support of the student videos. We’re happy to announce that we’ve finalized the details on prizes, as listed here:
Finalist Awards – most popular videos in grades 8 to 10 and grades 11 to 12 are eligible
- Most Popular Video Award — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Judges Award for Best Quality Finalist in grades 8 to 10 — $200 courtesy of Holland Board of Public Works
- Judges Award for Best Quality Finalist in grades11 to 12 — $200 courtesy of Holland Board of Public Works
- All finalists will receive a gift bag provided by local businesses.
Special Recognition Awards – all video entries are eligible
- Best video on conserving energy at home — Home Energy Audit by DwellTech Solutions ($450 value)
- Best video on conserving energy in industry — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Best video on conserving energy in churches or non-profits — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Best video promoting renewable energy — $100 courtesy of GMB Architecture & Engineering
- Best video to show Holland as a good place to live, work, and play – $100
If you have any other questions about the contest or event, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
With just over a week left in the Student Energy Video Challenge, contestants, judges, and voters are getting excited about the upcoming video festival and awarding the finalists with some great prizes–which now total over $1000.
During the last week to vote, we’re going to be highlighting some “favorite” videos from a variety of people–today the Community Energy Advisory Group has selected some of their favorite videos and explains what they like about each.
Don Triezenberg likes this submission, “Household Energy Efficiency” featuring Hava Zuidema and her 8th grade friends at New Tech High School:
Greg Holcombe likes “A More Efficient City is a More Powerful City”, which very nicely summarizes key City Energy Plan principles and project opportunities. Check it out:
Peter Boogaart picked “Saving Energy and Serving God” because its a great example of how energy conservation gives back; Central Wesleyan invested in efficiency, leading to more dollars to invest in its mission:
Paul Lilly likes “Consuming Energy Wisely” featuring Keith Malmstadt, Great Lake Woods owner and fellow Sustainability Committee member, for his investments in industrial energy conservation.
What do you think about CEAG’s picks? Which videos are your favorites, and why?
The next meeting of the Community Energy Advisory Group is tomorrow, March 20, at 6:30PM. The meetings are open to the public, and we encourage anyone with an interest in energy issues and the Holland Community to attend. Holland New Tech High School is located at 24th and State St.; the meeting will last until about 8:00.
The tentative agenda is listed after the jump. For more information, email Hollandceag@gmail.com. We hope you’ll come and join the discussion!
Last night’s forum on wind energy was well-received by a full auditorium at Herrick District Library in Holland. Panelists at the discussion represented a variety of aspects of wind technology, from Kelly Slikkers of Energetx Composites discussing the molding process of making turbine blades, to Sue Browne from the Blue Green Alliance sharing the positive stories of Ironworkers involved in a renewable energy project at Kellogg Community College. Rich VanderVeen of Mackinaw Power, developers of the largest wind farm in Michigan, was also on the panel, and discussed the importance of involving landowners in each stage of the planning process.
Predictably, the buzzword of the night was “jobs”–jobs in turbine manufacturing, installation, and maintenance. Holland-based Energetx employs about 50 people currently, and Slikkers says they have plans to hire between 50 and 70 laborers and technical workers in the next six months. Eric Justian from West Michigan Jobs Group spoke about the potential of the industry to bring even more jobs to the area; he encouraged audience members to “make some noise about it” in their communities, because local support is often a major factor in the success of new projects.
The event was covered by several local news outlets; Newschannel 3 broadcasted live shortly before the event began, the Holland Sentinel ran a story with several pictures last night, Fox 17 aired a live broadcast after the event wrapped up, and the Grand Rapids Press ran a story this morning.
If you were one of the many people who attended the forum, share your opinion with us! Did you learn anything that changed your views of wind energy? Have any lingering questions after the discussion?
March 13th environmental and industry groups will be hosting an informational forum on wind energy potential in West Michigan. Panelists from Energetx Composites, Mackinaw Power, West Michigan Jobs Group and others will discuss the potential of wind energy to create jobs and develop supply chain manufacturing on the Lakeshore.
The event will be held at Herrick District Library at 6:30PM. This is a great opportunity to learn more about clean energy and it’s economic potential in this region, so consider stopping by!
On February 8th the Community Energy Advisory Group met with Leadership Holland to discuss the City’s long-term energy strategy. Paul Lilly and Don Triezenberg, and other members of CEAG, have been giving presentations to various local groups for several months, gathering positive feedback for the City Energy Plan that continues to foster discussion and involvement in this important decision.
In a group discussion, members of Leadership Holland emphasized the importance of officially adopting a long-term strategy that will fully embrace the commitments City Council and the Sustainability Committee have made to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency. Maintenance of future flexibility in fuel source and energy generation is also extremely important to consider, given the difficulty of making predictions involving the long-term energy market.
Make sure you head over to the Video Challenge page to check out the submissions as we get them. The videos are judged in part on the number of views they get, so be sure to share your favorites! We’ll be highlighting submissions here as they come in. Here’s one from Lauren Westendorp, a student at Holland Christian:
Here’s a creative submission from Aubrey O’Neal, also a Holland Christion student:
You can also follow our YouTube channel, where we’re curating a playlist of entries!
Representatives of the Community Energy Advisory Group will appear on Mac TV channel 26 Wednesday, February 1 at 5PM and Saturday, February 4 at 7:30PM to discuss the Community Energy Plan.
The segments will also be streaming online at those times, on Mac TV’s website. This is a great introduction to the Energy Plan, be sure to let your community know to tune in! Maybe host a viewing party for your neighborhood?