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The Three E’s of Workplace Charging: Why Workplace Charging is a Win-Win-Win
December 7, 2015

 

COP21 Paris 2015

Source: UN Climate Change Conference

As many of the world’s leaders convene at COP21 to discuss what can be done to  combat the negative  effects of climate change, it’s easy to forget that there are  many ways in which we can make a big impact locally. While we are optimistic  that positive change will come from the conference, there are many small  non-regulatory actions that can make a big difference. One of the easiest  ways to displace petroleum usage and greenhouse gas emissions is by switching to  a more efficient alternative fuel vehicle, and encouraging your employees to do  the same.

While initial options for plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles were relatively  limited and caused range anxiety, today’s market has become increasingly varied  and technology has vastly improved, allowing adoption over a much wider  audience. Even with improved technology, though, many users worry about  getting to and from work every day (let alone making any additional trips for errands or otherwise) on a single charge.

Installing electric vehicle charging stations at work is a quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to elevate your employee benefit offerings, your employer reputation and do your part to preserve the environment. Read on to discover the benefits of installing electric vehicle charging stations and how doing so creates a win-win-win.

Bridgewater_Charger

Source: BusinessWire

1. A Win for Employees

  • Employees can double their driving range with access to charging at both
    home and work, alleviating range anxiety and encouraging the use of PEVs and PHEVs over traditional gasoline-fueled vehicles.
  • Employees can make the most of their commute, completing errands before or after work thanks to their increased battery life and extended battery range.
  • Workplace charging can even help employees be more comfortable while driving! This is because drivers are able to bring their car to a comfortable internal temperature by heating or cooling the cabin while it is plugged in at work (instead of doing so while driving which drains battery and decreases potential driving range).

2. A Win for Employers

  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations at your business shows a sense of progressive and cutting-edge thinking.
  • Considering your employee’s current and future needs and responding accordingly by installing EV stations shows your interest in keeping employees happy and remaining competitive with other employers in terms of benefits. This will allow you to attract and retain top employees now and in the future.
doe

Source: AutoBlog

  • Allowing employees to charge their electric vehicles while at work can also significantly contribute to your “portfolio of sustainability practices” and show that your company is environmentally conscious and socially responsible.
  • You may also be able to count greenhouse gas emissions reduced through the use of PEVs charged at work towards your sustainability goals.
  • In some states, employees may even benefit from greater satisfaction from shortened commute times if they qualify for HOV lanes, which contributes to greater team morale.
  •  Additionally, having E.V. charging stations on your property allows your company to convert its vehicles to electric which can significantly reduce overall fleet costs.
  • Lastly, if you are a building owner, charging stations are a great indicator to current and potential tenants that you are environmentally responsible and “interested in providing smart, proactive solutions for both the present and future needs of your tenants 

3. A Win for the Environment

  • Allowing employees to drive their PEVs or PHEVs to work without range anxiety promotes and supports their use, which reduces gasoline dependency and improves air quality in your community.

Zappos

  • Electric vehicles are almost four times as efficient as traditional vehicles and reduce overall energy consumption
  • The ability for employees to charge their vehicles at work may also increase adoption of PEVs and PHEVs among employees as they see their colleagues driving and benefitting from their use as your “workplace can serve as a second showroom”

For more information on installing an electric vehicle charging station at your business, please contact Heather Croteau at heatherc@cec-mi.org.

 

 WCC-Banner

“The goal of the Workplace Charging Challenge is to increase the number of American employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years.

For more information on the Workplace Charging Challenge, please click here.

Camila is an MBA/MS Candidate at the University of Michigan, Erb Institute for Social Enterprise.
Top 5 Benefits of Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
December 7, 2015

 

EV Charging Sign

Whether you were already considering or merely contemplating the purchase of an EV charger, we understand the process can be a little overwhelming. To streamline your decision-making, we’ve put together a list of the top five benefits you can gain from installing a Level 2 EV charger in your parking lot.

1. Attract new business

 Whether it’s a family on a road trip whose battery is running low (and who themselves need refueling), or a local resident on her way home from work, put your business on the map by offering an EV charging station outside your business. Since they are not currently widely available, this will help your business to stand out, especially if you offer this service free of charge. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But electricity is expensive?!” It’s actually cheaper than you think, and will likely pay for itself in no time through new customers, larger bills and/or more repeat visits. To ensure your business is easy to find, create a profile for your stations on PlugShare, the most widely-used EV charging station locator. Bonus: Users can leave feedback on your stations through the app, so you can make sure you are meeting their needs and address any concerns users might have.

2. Increase customer spend

A study performed by Experian Automotive in 2013 showed that electric car buyers are both ‘younger and wealthier’ than most car buyers. Additionally, a J.D. Power and Associates survey of 7,600 EV owners found that 43% charge their vehicles away from home. These are very valuable consumers for your business who have money to spend, and are generally early adopters in many categories. Make YOUR business their preferred destination to relax, refuel and recharge.

Desirable demographic: EV drivers have a 50% higher income than the average American

 3. Increase customers’ length of visit

Because electric vehicles usually take at least an hour to charge, customers are more likely to stick around for that extra coffee or dessert. ChargePoint, an EV charging infrastructure company which collects data from its users, stated that installing EV charging stations increases consumers’ “dwell-time”. One of its users even stated an average of 50-minute longer stays after the installation of its charging stations. Make it easier for them to say “yes” by giving them an excuse to fall back on.

EV Drivers are better customers and seek out retailers with charging stations and frequent them more often than regular customers

Source: Fast Company

4. Increase customer loyalty

Offering customers another reason to choose your business over a competitor’s is never a bad thing. Why not give them another great reason to patronize your business by installing a charging station? Customers are more likely to visit and return to your business if (all else equal) they know they can charge their EV while they visit.

5. Show off your green side

 In a study conducted by Deloitte’s Center for Energy Solutions, participants mentioned that goodwill among customers and positive brand associations were motivating factors in installing EV charging stations. Additionally, doing so often fell in line with their values as a company and helped them to meet their sustainability goals for the year.

Bonus: Your employees will also benefit from having the option to charge their electric vehicles at work, which makes you a more attractive and competitive employer. Additionally, you may be helping reduce their commute time, as many areas allow electric vehicles to use the carpool/HOV lane.

 

 

Camila is an MBA/MS Candidate at the University of Michigan, Erb Institute for Social Enterprise.
We’re Hiring! ArborBike Technicians
August 17, 2015

Part-time Bike Share Technician

 

Organization:  Clean Energy Coalition (CEC)

Status:  Part-time

Location:  Ann Arbor, MI

Reports To:  ArborBike Operations Manager

Salary:  Commensurate With Experience

Filing Dates:  Position Open Until Filled

 

Job Summary 

Clean Energy Coalition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washtenaw County, Michigan, seeks part-time technicians to support ArborBike, the Ann Arbor bike share program. Bike share is a sustainable and healthy shared transportation system that improves accessibility and builds community. Bike Share Technicians will work closely with an ArborBike Operations Manager.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Two years experience with bicycle repair.
  • Experience driving step vans, delivery trucks, or other large format vehicles professionally.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, including an aptitude for engaging with the general public.
  • Highly flexible regarding work days and hours.
  • Proactive, never-fail attitude in the face of adversity and ambiguous situations.
  • Extremely detail-oriented with excellent organizational skills.
  • Self-starter, enthusiastic, innovative, and capable of meeting challenges and pressing deadlines on an independent basis.
  • Team player with trouble-shooting and multi-tasking skills.
  • Enthusiasm around bicycling and environmental issues.
  • Valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
  • Competent, courteous, and comfortable as a driver operating in an urban environment.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds safely and quickly to a height of at least 36”.

Job Duties & Responsibilities

Technical support of ArborBike will involve various combinations of the following:

  • Rebalance bikes between bike share stations using the rebalancing truck.
  • Speak with interested residents, students, and visitors onsite while performing work.
  • Troubleshoot and identify problems with ArborBike bicycles.
  • Fix and maintain ArborBike bicycles on an as-needed basis.
  • Perform routine maintenance of ArborBike bicycles on a regular basis, both onsite and in the ArborBike shop.
  • Maintain accurate work logs of various tasks
  • Maintain accurate inventory of parts and tools.
  • Answer and direct or respond to customer service calls for ArborBike.
  • Ensure exceptional customer service and efficient operation of the bike share system.
  • Work a number of weekend and evening/early morning hours to cover ArborBike program operational needs and special events.
  • Perform other duties as assigned and collaborate with other staff on work as needed.

Hours

  • Each technician is expected to work approximately 15 hours/week.

Application Details

  • This position is open until filled.
  • No phone inquiries please.
  • Clean Energy Coalition is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and consideration of all applicants for all positions without regard to color, ethnic background, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and disability status.
  • Qualified individuals should submit a resume and a cover letter to: employment@cec-mi.org
Solar Freedom: What does a solar-powered community look like in Michigan in 2050?
May 21, 2015

GLBR-SolarRegion

The sun warms our skin and brightens our mood, especially in Michigan. With photovoltaic technology (PV), the sun has the powerful potential to reduce air pollution, improve our health, well-being and quality of life. Unleashing the power of the sun will enhance our communities and will help us take responsibility for our global impact.

“Solar freedom” starts with living lightly — eliminating energy waste. Imagine our buildings using at least 50% less energy and as much as 80% less than in 2005. Imagine buildings that are super insulated, with equipment and appliances that use a fraction of the energy compared to today, while providing the same or better service. These buildings are full of natural light and fresh air, with views of nature — lifting our spirits and inspiring creativity. Imagine our cars, trucks and delivery vehicles are built with super-light-weight, high-strength materials that allow them to travel a great distance, powered quietly by electricity.

Solar freedom is fulfilled when much of our remaining power needs are met by the sun. Imagine PV discretely located on private and public property across the community, primarily on rooftops and interconnected to the grid. Those with good solar access are generating power in excess of their use and earning extra income from the sale of electricity. Those without solar access are buying power at a much lower cost per kilowatt-hour than they paid to the old utility. Due to the fixed cost of PV installations and free solar resource, electricity cost per kilowatt-hour is now predictable. Imagine the batteries in our vehicles helping to balance when power is available on the grid. They are an integral part of our power storage system with smart controls that allow them to discharge any excess power, earning income for the vehicle owner.

With PV distributed across the community on rooftops, integrated into building facade materials and at a few select ground-mount locations, the waste from long transmission distances is also eliminated. The generation of power is close to the users, within the community. At the same time, regional interconnection is maintained so power is still available if local generation is interrupted. A combination of solar PV, wind, biomass, geothermal, passive solar, solar thermal, and our greatly reduced energy needs result in clean renewable energy.

Why by 2050? In 2009, the Michigan Climate Action Council’s (MCAC) Climate Action Plan  “proposed GHG reduction goals for Michigan are to achieve a 20% reduction of GHGs below 2005 levels by 2020 and an 80% reduction below 2005 levels by 2050.” For Michigan, redirected investment can simultaneously invigorate our economy, protect our natural resources, create energy independence and improve public health and our way of life. In the book Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2011), Amory Lovins and the Rock Mountain Institute outline in great detail how this can be done with the technology that is already commercially available, by 2050.

Electricity from PV is a local solution to power generation, located on private and public properties with solar access. Communities are in direct control over how and where it is integrated to meet their local power needs. Solar freedom is power independence.

Bonnie Scheffler Bona, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Clean Energy Coalition, Project Manager
734.585.2774 x.12
bonnie@cec-mi.org

Support your Ann Arbor community bike share, ArborBike
May 19, 2015

becomeasponsor

Help support ArborBike, Ann Arbor’s community bike share program, by becoming a sponsor or donor of the program. As of June 1st, ArborBike will have 14 stations and 125 bikes positioned throughout the downtown and University of Michigan campus areas, allowing students, residents, and visitors alike to conveniently and inexpensively get around Ann Arbor.

ArborBike soft-launched in September 2014 and is owned and operated by Clean Energy Coalition, an Ann Arbor non-profit, in partnership with the University of Michigan, the City of Ann Arbor, and TheRide.

Sponsorship Opportunities
We are currently offering opportunities for Ann Arbor area businesses to advertise on our bikes and/or stations as well as receive discounted membership rates for employees.

Visibility Sponsorships
–  Brand our bikes and/or stations with your company logo
–  Put your brand behind clean, green, healthy transportation

Employee Benefits Sponsorships
–  Offer employees quick transportation for lunch trips & in-town meetings
–  Incentivize your colleagues to get active and be healthy with annual membership discounts

Download the sponsorship packet for more information on options and pricing. If interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Heather Croteau, ArborBike Operations Manager, at HeatherC@cec-mi.org or 734-585-5720 x38.

Donation Opportunities
Donations are another great way to show your enthusiasm and support for ArborBike. We welcome any amount and appreciate your support of ArborBike! If you are interested in donating, fill out our Donation-by-Mail Form or donate online. Thank you!

 

ArborBike’s final eight stations to be installed end of May
May 19, 2015

ccrb kiosk

The much anticipated full system launch of ArborBike has arrived. The final eight bike share stations will be installed May 26th-29th, bringing the total system size to 14 stations and 125 bicycles throughout the downtown and university campus areas. The first six stations were installed on University of Michigan and Ann Arbor District Library property back in September 2014.

“We are excited to move forward with ArborBike’s full launch and install the remaining eight stations,” said ArborBike operations manager Heather Croteau. “We’ve already seen steady use of the current six stations – with 369 members and 631 trips taken since our re-launch in March 2015. We can expect the new stations will increase these numbers and we encourage everyone interested to visit ArborBike.org to learn about our membership options and station locations.”

ArborBike’s vendor, B-cycle will be installing 2 stations each day with all stations active by the evening of May 29, 2015.

Installation will occur according to the following tentative schedule; Tuesday: one station at the North Quad dormitory on State & Washington and one station near Walgreens on N. University & State; Wednesday: one station near Bank of America on Washington & Main and one station located near the Shapiro Undergraduate Library at S. University & E. University; Thursday: one station at City Hall and one station at Kerrytown; Friday: one station near Elbel Field at S. Division & Hill and one station placed on S. University & Washtenaw near Mighty Good Coffee. For a full map of ArborBike’s locations, visit arborbike.org/map.

“These final installations represent the culmination of three years of intensive planning and meetings with a multitude of individuals, community partners and stakeholders. It’s amazing to see this program come together and we are so thankful to be able to offer this service to the community,” said Heather Croteau.

The official ArborBike Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be held on Friday, June 5, 2015 from 11:30am – 1pm at one of ArborBike’s stations located on S. University and E. University across from Ulrich’s Bookstore and Espresso Royale. All are invited to attend and celebrate bike share in Ann Arbor. Representatives from the University of Michigan, City of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, and Ann Arbor City Council will all share a few words.

Like other bike share programs, ArborBike is meant to be used for quick trips and checkout time is limited to keep the bikes in circulation.

Members are able to take unlimited 60-minute trips during a day without additional charges. For each additional 30 minutes on a trip over 60 minutes, it costs $3.

Annual and monthly memberships must be purchased online at ArborBike.org, while 24-hour passes are sold directly at station kiosks.

The normal membership rates are $65 for an annual pass, $10 for a monthly pass, and $6 for a 24-hour pass. There also are discounted rates for U-M employees and students, and group discounts for 15 or more annual memberships. If your business is interested in increasing your visibility in Ann Arbor, sponsorship opportunities such as logo placement on the bikes and stations are also available. For more information on how to be a sponsor, visit arborbike.org/sponsors.

Clean Energy Coalition, in partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, secured a $600,000 federal grant for capital costs for the program, and the city of Ann Arbor is providing $150,000 in matching funds over the first two years.

U-M has pledged $600,000 to help cover operations for the first three years, with memberships and other sponsorships expected to cover remaining costs.

ArborBike is excited to offer this service to the community and hopes to expand in the coming years to add additional stations and bikes to Ann Arbor. If you have suggestions on where you would like to see future stations, email your ideas to info@arborbike.org.

Clean Energy Coalition Seeks Full-time Project Associate
May 8, 2015

We’re hiring!

Clean Energy Coalition seeks an energetic and self-motivated Full-time Project Associate to assist with developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative clean energy projects in the building and transportation sectors. The Project Associate will work closely with residents, businesses, and local officials to promote Clean Energy Coalition’s projects and programs.

Please see the linked position description for details and information on how to apply.

A changing energy world: how resilient are you?
May 4, 2015

climate resiliency

Our world is changing before our eyes. In the summer of 2012, India experienced the largest blackout in history, affecting about 670 million people – roughly 10% of the world’s population. In November of 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, considered one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, tore through the central Philippines, killing nearly 6,000 people and displacing more than 3.6 million. Closer to home, dramatic temperature changes including the record-setting polar vortex and unseasonably warm temperatures followed by frost are significantly damaging Michigan crops, jeopardizing the future of our state’s farmers. We can count on paying more for fuel as well, with the cost for a gallon of gas projected to reach $5.38 in Michigan by 2018. But it’s not all bad news. Emerging technologies and a new outlook on our world can help us be more energy efficient than ever before and expand the use of clean energy. 

In this age of extreme weather, dramatically fluctuating fuel prices, and unpredictable power outages, the question is: how resilient are you? Come see Clean Energy Coalition’s founder and executive director, Sean Reed, as he delivers a presentation on practical lessons he has learned on resilience and the smart energy decisions we can make in both our personal and private lives. As Sean will explain, the time is right to seize this opportunity. We can take control of our energy future, but we must act now.

Join us for SPARK’s Michigan Energy Forum on RESILIENCE!

Thursday, May 7th, 5pm-7pm
Ann Arbor SPARK
330 East Liberty St. (lower level)
Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (map)

Register for the event here.
(Registration closes 24 hours before the event.)

Incentives Available for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
April 1, 2015

 

Through the Michigan Energy Office’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Project, $20,000 in incentive funding is available to Michigan small businesses, municipalities, or not-for-profit organizations considering electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Four workshops will be held throughout the State to cover the process for applying for charging infrastructure and installation incentive funds. Presenters will discuss:

  • how to estimate EV charging demands,
  • the process of citing and installing a station,
  • financing options, and
  • the requirements to apply for the available funding.

In order to be eligible to apply for funding, your organization must attend one of the four workshops.

 

Click here to listen to project associate Heather Croteau talk about the program on WJR’s Powering Michigan’s Future!

 

Grand Rapids

Where:
Aquinas College
Wege Student Center, Loutit Room
1607 Robinson Rd SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

When:
Tuesday April 14, 2015
9:00am – 12:00pm ET
Click here to register

 

Ann Arbor

Where:
Ann Arbor DDA
150 South Fifth Ave Suite 301
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

When:
Thursday April 16, 2015
9:00am – 12:00pm ET
Click here to register

 

Warren

Where:
EVITP Facility
2277 E 11 Mile Rd Suite 1
Warren, MI 48092

When:
Wednesday April 22, 2015
9:00am – 12:00pm ET
Click here to register

 

Kalamazoo 

Where:
Western Michigan University
Office of Sustainability, Meeting Room
2529 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

When:
Wednesday April 29, 2015
9:00am – 12:00pm ET
Click here to register

Low-Interest Financing Available for Energy Efficiency Projects in Rental Housing
March 31, 2015

iStock_000024479656Small
Prepare your properties for Michigan’s long, cold winters by making energy efficient upgrades that will save you money and make your tenants more comfortable. Investments in energy efficiency not only reduce your maintenance costs, but they also improve the marketability of your properties by attracting and keeping tenants.

The a2energy Loan Fund for Rental Housing offers eligible rental property owners access to low-interest financing for energy efficiency retrofits, such as insulation, air sealing, HVAC upgrades, and select ENERGY STAR products.

The Loan Fund provides:

  • Financing for up to $8,000 per property
  • Interest rates between 2% and 3.5%, with reduced rates available for certain project types
  • Terms between 12 and 36 months

In order to qualify, properties must:

  • Contain 1-4 units
  • Be located in Washtenaw County
  • Complete an energy audit prior to performing work
  • Be in compliance with local rental housing inspections
  • Use contractors authorized by Michigan Saves

For more information and to see if you qualify, visit a2gov.org/loanfund

Sign up here to receive more information on how to apply for the program, or contact:

Allison Skinner
Project Manager
allison@cec-mi.org
734-585-5720 ext. 16

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