Michigan businesses continue with energy-saving plan

A group of firms based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have entered the second year of an energy-saving initiative designed to cut business costs.

Overseen by Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the programme involves about 50 local businesses which together account for approximately 560,000 sq ft of office space in the city, Crain's Detroit Business reports.

Companies taking part in the project undergo a free energy audit, which identifies a list of improvements that can be made to their buildings for the sake of energy efficiency.

Half of the cost of making these alterations is then paid back to the firm as a rebate from the DDA, with the maximum payment set at $20,000 (£12,344).

"This is about saving money," said the DDA's executive director Susan Pollay, who explained that reducing expenditure by saving energy could help smaller firms to absorb the impact of the recession.

"If we can get our businesses and our building owners to rein in some of their overhead costs, some of their energy costs, that may be some of what helps to keep them going," she added.

One of the main employers in Ann Arbor is the University of Michigan, which relocated from Detroit in 1837 and now accounts for about 38,000 jobs in the city.

Published by Matt Westwood

Thursday 15th October 2009

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