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What’s New

Volunteer with ArborBike
August 8, 2014



We are building ArborBikes and we can use your help! The ArborBikes are coming & we need to put them together. It will take people with all sorts of skills and talents to build these bikes. Even if you’ve never worked on a bike, we can use your help. We will have 75 bicycles that need to be unboxed, put together, and tuned up before we can put them into service.

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 From 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Location: Clean Energy Coalition (924 N. Main Street, Suite 2, Ann Arbor)

What’s in it for me?
The first 20 people who register will receive a free ArborBike T-Shirt when they show up. Everybody who volunteers will get a free 24-hour membership.

Where should I park?
We will have plenty of bicycle parking, but if you’re coming by car, we suggest parking in the nearby neighborhoods.

Is there anything I can bring to help?

  • Most importantly, bring a positive attitude!
  • If you have any of these tools, they would be greatly appreciated:
  • Torx Security drivers & bits
  • Pedal Wrench
  • ½” Torque Wrench
  • Box Cutter
  • Extra Credit Overachiever Brownie Points: snacks & drinks

How do I sign-up?
Please sign up on our United Way Volunteer Page.

If you have any additional questions on volunteering, or ArborBike in general, please contact:

Nick Helmholdt
ArborBike Operations Manager
734.585.5720 x13


Pressure for sustainability in Higher Ed
August 8, 2014

WMU pic

As sustainability begins to take hold in all sectors of business, higher education institutions also face some unique challenges. Clean Energy Coalition’s experience in the field with Western Michigan University, the University of Michigan, and smaller community colleges has shown three key pressures that sustainability is placing on their campuses.

1. Impact on Admissions

For higher education, becoming more sustainable is not only a path for minimizing an institution’s environmental footprint or making the most of a limited budget; it can also play a key role in the recruitment and retention of a strong student body.

In 2008, a survey by researchers at the College of William and Mary, Campus Greening Efforts: What difference do they make?, found that “current freshmen are two times more likely to choose their school based on sustainability concerns than the entering freshman class just 3 years ago.” The trend has continued into 2014 and in order to attract these forward thinking students, institutions are pushed towards more sustainability initiatives on campus.

2. Achieving National Sustainability Certifications

In addition to pressure from incoming students, there is push from other institutions and outside, national organizations. Several certifications, including STARS (The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System – a program of AASHE) and ACUPCC (The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment), exist and are directed at higher education institutes with the intent of creating a more environmentally sustainable higher education system. The guidelines for these programs are often extensive and add to an institutions’ growing list of projects under a limited budget.

3. Collaboration among Facilities, Faculty, Administration, and the Larger Campus Community

Many higher education institutions are often just getting their foot in the door as far as sustainability is concerned. Many rely on facilities management directors to also wear the hat of sustainability director, rather than having a designated individual and/or department to address these new needs. The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus discusses the fact that these new positions often have “ambitious portfolios, and ask the individuals involved to do the work of a dozen people.”

Institutions that can afford the staff or personnel time to implement comprehensive sustainability initiatives have begun to realize individual buildings and energy systems on campus can be used as points of study – much like a mini-city, located directly on campus. As a result, sustainability directors are increasingly pressured to build relationships with faculty and the larger campus community as well as pilot successful projects on campus.

Clean Energy Coalition can help your institution overcome these challenges with practical solutions to common obstacles for those working toward sustainability on campus. For more information about how Clean Energy Coalition can help, please contact:

Jenny Oorbeck
Program Director
734.585.5720 x18

CEC in Top 10 for Climate Ride Midwest
August 8, 2014

Bike trip pic

Our team is in the Top 10 for fundraising for Climate Ride Midwest, having raised $5,394.00 so far on behalf of Clean Energy Coalition!

Our riders – Bonnie Bona, Heather Croteau, Rebecca Filbey, and Nicole Ver Kuilen – are now in the final stretch of training and fundraising for the 300 mile, 4 day ride from Grand Rapids to Chicago. With the ride coming up quickly September 6th-9th, they are eager to hit the road. They’ve put in countless hours this summer and could use your encouragement and support in the final leg to meet their fundraising target of $2,800 each.

Clean Energy Coalition is excited to take part in Climate Ride as an opportunity to share its mission with the public, build a community of supporters, boost fundraising initiatives, and restore the Midwest as a leader in healthy, sustainable communities. The funds raised from this initiative will directly support innovative initiatives and programs Clean Energy Coalition is leading. These include:

  • ArborBike – Ann Arbor’s premier bike share program with 14 stations and 125 bicycles launching this fall.
  • XSeed – A community supported energy project which installed a 3.24 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system on the historic Michigan Theater.
  • Home Energy Affordability Loan (HEAL) Program – A unique, energy-based employee benefit program and the first of its kind in Michigan, operated in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative.

Can you help us get into the Top 5 and reach our $12,000 fundraising goal?

Here’s how you can help:

1. Visit Team Clean Energy Coalition’s fundraising page.
2. Choose a rider on our “roster” that you wish to support.
3. Donate to their ride and directly support Clean Energy Coalition’s programs.

If your company would like to help with a matching gift or you have any questions on how to make a donation, please contact Team Captain:

Nicole Ver Kuilen
734.585.5720 x37


Find Clean Energy Coalition on AmazonSmile
August 8, 2014


Clean Energy Coalition is now registered with AmazonSmile. AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers – such as Clean Energy Coalition! Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Now you can easily donate to Clean Energy Coalition while you shop.

How to sign up:  

1. Go to smile.amazon.com

2. Log in with your regular amazon.com e-mail address and password

3. On your 1st time to the site, you will be prompted to enter or choose the name of the charitable organization you would like linked to your account. Type in “Clean Energy Coalition.”

4. Download the browser app shortcut to make it easier to go to smile.amazon.com when you want to shop at amazon.com

5. Now shop away! Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation to Clean Energy Coalition.

Unfortunately, Amazon does not currently have a mobile app for Smile, so you’ll need to login with your browser to shop with Amazon Smile.

For more information, please contact:

Laura Palombi
Director of Business Development


3-Year Old CNG Fueling Station for Sale
August 8, 2014

CNG station for sale

One of Clean Energy Coalition’s Clean Cities stakeholders, Rocky Mountain Alternative Fueling LLC, has decided to close and put on the market for sale its used CNG station. Through the Clean Cities network, RMA Fueling is hoping to gather interest in the CNG station.

The station was engineered and constructed by J-W Power and has been operating, until recently, since March 2011 in Rifle, Colorado. A brief description of the equipment, pricing schedules and pictures of the station are available upon request. If you are aware of any entity that may be interested in purchasing this equipment, please don’t hesitate to contact Scott Mason by phone or email if you should have any questions.

Scott Mason
Rocky Mountain Alternative Fueling, LLC


Incentives Available for Building Operator Certification!
July 10, 2014


The Michigan Energy Office and utilities are offering incentives for upcoming Building Operator Certification classes at Henry Ford College in Dearborn and at Saginaw Valley State University.

  • The BOC course at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn begins in mid-August and concludes in early November; each course consists of eight classes and takes place about two days per month.
  • The BOC course at Saginaw Valley State University begins in late August and concludes in mid-November; each course consists of eight classes and takes place about two days per month.

The Michigan Energy Office is offering an incentive of up to $350 for Rebuild Michigan program participants to earn BOC certification; substantial utility incentives are also available for those who qualify. Total tuition for the BOC course is $1,450. More information can be found at boccentral.org.

Past Rebuild Michigan Client?
Past Rebuild Michigan clients are eligible for this opportunity – here is a link to past Rebuild clients. Rebuild Michigan RTA’s are also eligible for the Michigan Energy Office incentive, provided that the RTA also enrolls an eligible Rebuild Michigan client in the incentive and one of the courses.

Attendees should register for the BOC course and send in the incentive application as soon as possible. For more information and to get an incentive application check the boccentral.org webpage.

CEC’s next Strategic Advisory Board meeting is July 17
June 26, 2014


Our Strategic Advisory Board has made a lot of progress since our first meeting about a year ago. With help from our federal and state lobbyists, we’ve identified important policy barriers and opportunities, including drafting legislation to support the alternative fuel vehicle market in Michigan. Our current Board has a strong focus on alternative fuels and we are looking for additional members to join this Board or help us establish another Strategic Advisory Board group to focus on renewable energy market development.

For more information about Strategic Advisory Board participation contact:

Laura Palombi
Director of Business Development
734-585-5720 x22

I-75 the Longest Biofuels Corridor in the World
June 26, 2014


Thanks to a huge, six-state partnership, Michiganders now have greater access to the biofuels E85 ethanol and biodiesel in a B20 blend. One E85 station is now open at the BP station in Romulus and one B20 station located at the Oasis Trucking Center in Detroit.

The week of June 9-13, 2014 marks the celebration of this project that is five years in the making. In 2009, an ambitious, multi-state project started in Knoxville, Tennessee. Through a grant funded by the Department of Energy Clean Cities Program, the I-75 Green Corridor Project began with the goal of allowing any American driver to traverse any portion of I-75 and be able to make the entire trip running on either biofuel. The project has significantly increased the availability of the biofuels E85 and B20 along the entire length of Interstate 75, which runs from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan at the Canadian border to Miami, Florida. Biofuels stations were added with the intent of filling in gaps in biofuels access along the corridor and adding more stations in metropolitan areas, such that a station of each type could be found no greater than 200 miles apart along the entire length of the interstate.

This week we will be celebrating nearing completion of the project, and many partners from all six states and beyond will help spread the word about the project through web presence, social media discussions and picture sharing, press releases, and videos.

Since the project’s inception, over 3.3 million gallons of biofuels have been sold from stations associated with the project, and 2.6 million gallons of petroleum have been displaced. The project has now displaced over 61,000 barrels of oil, or alternatively, the U.S. has now produced over 61,000 additional barrels of renewable, American fuel!  This also equates to:

  • 25,222 tons of CO2 emissions avoided, or
  • Eliminating the annual CO2 emissions from 4,817 U.S. passenger vehicles
  • The amount of carbon sequestered by 18,946 acres of U.S. forests in one year
  • Switching 604,604 incandescent lamps to compact fluorescent lamps
  • The energy used by 2,109 homes for one year

Thus far along the entire corridor, E85 has been installed at 26 fuel stations, and B20 has been installed at 9. These numbers are expected to increase in the coming months with another 6 stations coming online this summer. The project is now in its final year and has resulted in the 1,786-mile interstate becoming the planet’s longest biofuels corridor.

The significance of this project lies not only in the extensive length of American interstates involved or the six-state, multi-partner coordination that has taken place. There is also significance in the fact that American drivers now have a greater number of fueling options, as well as alt-fuel vehicles. There are nearly 100 flex fuel vehicle (or “FFV”) models on the market today. Couple that with the fact that, by conservative estimates, there are over 10 million flex fuel vehicles already on the road, and there is strong evidence for the need for more stations offering E85.

Conveniently, almost all diesel vehicles can run on biodiesel with few if any modifications to the vehicle. Even in the B20 marketplace, there are a growing number of B20-capable vehicles, from passenger to larger utility vehicles. With exciting developments like the B20 approved Chevrolet Cruze, more consumer-oriented, biodiesel-capable vehicles will surely come to market. More and more OEMs are responding to consumer demand for diesel vehicles, and some of those vehicles are approved for B20 use, such as the diesel 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. Clearly, now is the time to put these fuels into action, and this endeavor is helping to diversify America’s fuel portfolio one gallon at a time.

“As a renewable, domestically-produced fuel, ethanol helps our country increase its energy security and break our dependence on foreign oil. It has environmental benefits too – E85 reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% compared to gasoline, providing drivers with an opportunity to reduce their personal impact on the environment. Once scarce, E85 is now more widely available, thanks to forward-thinking gas station owners” said Aaron Champion, coordinator of Detroit Area Clean Cities, which is managed by Clean Energy Coalition.

See all the stations added in the project at the project Website; here is a list of the stations added in Michigan:

Partner Biofuel added Store address
Oasis Trucking Center B20 4201 Central AvenueDetroit, MI 48210
BP Romulus E85 15024 Middlebelt RdRomulus, MI 48174

To find the closest alternative fueling stations view the alt fuel locator map here.

In the coming months, more data will roll in to show the great impact of this project. We invite you to get more information and updates about the I-75 Green Corridor Project by visiting www.CleanFuelsCorridor.com.

Training for Climate Ride Midwest
June 26, 2014

photo (4)
What does it take to prepare for a 4-day, 300-mile bicycle journey across three states?

We asked this question to our team of 5 riders who have dedicated their summer to training for Climate Ride Midwest, a 300-mile bike tour from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago, Illinois to raise awareness of climate change and sustainable transportation. Our riders are not only putting in the miles to get ready for the ride, but they are also spending time and effort raising money to support Climate Ride’s beneficiaries – including Clean Energy Coalition.

Here’s what they had to say on what it takes:

  • “Dedication to the mission.” - As Program Supervisor at Clean Energy Coalition, Rebecca Filbey is dedicated to this ride because it helps promote the mission of her work. “Ten years ago on a trip to Ecuador, I realized I needed to be spending my professional life doing something to protect the environment. Three jobs and a master’s degree later, I’m continuing to seek out new ways to get more people involved in sustainability – and I’m excited about the opportunity to do this from a bicycle seat on behalf of Clean Energy Coalition.”
  • “A versatile training schedule with the team.” - Nick Helmholdt knows what it takes to train for a 300-mile ride; he’s an avid bike rider himself and the Operations Manager of ArborBike, Ann Arbor’s new bike share program with 14 stations and 125 bicycles set to launch this summer. “I’ve scheduled a number of rides for our team – on weekends, weeknights, dirt roads, hills, paved roads – the versatility keeps everyone interested in the ride and excited to train.”
  • “My friends and family. They’re my biggest supporters.”Heather Croteau, Clean Cities Intern at Clean Energy Coalition, finds her inspiration to train from her friends and family. “As a recent graduate from the University of Michigan with a Master’s in Sustainable Systems, my family and friends have been behind me every step of the way – including my Climate Ride training and fundraising.”
  • “Donations…to keep me inspired on our end goal!” - Nicole Ver Kuilen, Proposal Coordinator, says her biggest encouragement comes from donors. “When individuals make a donation to my ride, I know they’re voicing their commitment to our mission and the work we do – it’s a big motivation factor for me.” Each rider must raise $2,800 to take part in Climate Ride Midwest, part of which serves as a tax-deductible donation to Clean Energy Coalition as a beneficiary of Climate Ride.
  • “A vision for the future.”Bonnie Bona, Project Manager, trains for Climate Ride because of what’s next for Clean Energy Coalition. “Our organization recently set some inspiring goals, including bringing 100kW of renewable energy to Michigan in the next year. As a manager of XSeed Energy and directing the launch of 2030 Districts in Detroit and Ann Arbor, I’m excited to meet the challenges our communities are facing with innovative, collaborative efforts.”

Now in their 8th week of training, these riders are putting in 55-65 miles this week, increasing their total mileage by roughly 10 to 20 miles each week. By the end of their training – and before the ride September 6th-9th – they will have clocked 1,050 to 1,500 miles each!

As you’ve read above, they can’t do it alone. They need your support to keep their training and fundraising momentum going! Please consider supporting our team by donating to their ride. Visit our team’s fundraising page to make a donation.

For more information about Climate Ride or questions about making a tax deductible donation to our team, please contact Nicole Ver Kuilen, Climate Ride Team Captain, at nicole@cec-mi.org.

Nicole Ver Kuilen
Proposal Coordinator
734-585-5720 ext. 37

Question of the Month
June 26, 2014


Question of the Month: Why is idle reduction important? What are ways that I can prevent idling, and what are the benefits of doing so?

Answer: Idling, the time when a vehicle’s engine is on but the vehicle is not moving, wastes over 6 billion gallons of fuel each year in the United States according to Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). This adds up to more than $20 billion annually in fuel costs. For example, heavy-duty trucks frequently idle at rest stops; an estimated 650,000 long-haul trucks use more than 685 million gallons of fuel per year by unnecessary idling. Idle reduction technologies and practices can help lower fuel consumption and fuel costs, protect public health and the environment, and increase U.S. energy security. Reducing idle time can also help reduce engine wear and maintenance costs. Finally, idling for long periods is illegal in many states and jurisdictions.

Idle Reduction Technologies and Practices

Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Truck stop electrification and onboard equipment can help reduce idling at truck stops, roadsides, and delivery sites. It is important to note that the cost-effectiveness of the technologies below depend on the vehicle applications and climates in which they are used as well as the duration of the idling.

  • Truck Stop Electrification provides power from an external source for important systems such as air conditioning, heating, and appliances without needing to idle the engine during required stops at rest areas.
  • Auxiliary Power Units are portable units that are mounted to the vehicle, and provide power for climate control and electrical devices in trucks, locomotives, and marine vehicles without idling the primary vehicle engine.
  • Energy Recovery Systems use the vehicle’s heat-transfer system to keep the truck’s heater operating after the engine is turned off, using engine heat that would otherwise dissipate.
  • Automatic Engine Stop-Start Controls sense the temperature in the sleeper cabin and automatically turn the engine on if the sleeper is too hot or too cold.
  • Cab or Bunk Heaters supply warm air to the cab or bunk compartment using small diesel heaters. Heaters can be coupled with air conditioners if needed.

School Buses
School bus idling is particularly problematic because of the negative health impacts for children. School bus engines should be turned off while the engine is not needed, such as at loading and unloading areas, and should only be turned back on when the bus is ready to depart. Idle reduction technologies for school buses that operate in cold climates include small on-board diesel cabin heaters and electrical block heaters, which can provide warming for the passenger compartment and engine.

Light- and Medium-Duty Vehicles
For light-and medium-duty vehicles, the primary idle reduction strategy is to turn the engine off when the vehicle is parked or stopped for long periods of time. Drivers can also reduce petroleum consumption by avoiding the use of a remote vehicle starter and obeying no-idle zones. Fleets may implement policies to set minimum fuel-efficiency targets or require the use of idle reduction practices. In addition, fleet managers can train their drivers on the benefits of reduced idling and how to use idle reduction strategies.

For vehicles that must stop often or for extended periods of time, such as cabs, limousines, and utility trucks, the idle reduction technologies below can be implemented:

  • Air Heaters operate on engine fuel and are self-contained units that blow hot air directly into the vehicle’s interior. These are similar to the heaters for heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Coolant Heaters use the vehicle’s heat-transfer system and are mounted in the engine compartment. This technology uses the vehicle’s fuel to heat the coolant, and then pumps the heated coolant through the engine, radiator, and heater box. By keeping the engine warm, the coolant heater reduces the impact of cold starts. These are similar to the heaters for heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Waste-Heat Recovery Systems are similar to the energy recovery systems mentioned above for heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Auxiliary Power Systems are similar to the auxiliary power units mentioned above for heavy-duty vehicles.
  • Automatic Power Management Systems allow a vehicle driver to turn off the engine and use battery power to run the accessories from the battery. When the power management system senses the battery getting low, it restarts the engine until battery levels regenerate.
  • Hybridization enables vehicles requiring power take-off equipment to perform work with the main engine off.



Idling Regulations

There are many state and local laws and incentives in place to reduce idling in specific jurisdictions. For information on current idling reduction incentives and regulations, see the Clean Cities IdleBase(http://cleancities.energy.gov/idlebase) tool and the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Laws and Incentives (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/) database. While most current laws apply to diesel vehicles, increasingly laws are beginning to address gasoline vehicles as well.

Idle Reduction Tools

IdleBox Toolkit
The IdleBox toolkit (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/toolbox/idlebox.html) includes resources such as print products, templates, presentations, and information resources that can assist in creating idle reduction projects for medium- and heavy-duty fleets. IdleBox can also be used to educate policymakers, fleet managers, drivers, and others about the benefits of idle reduction.

Idle Reduction Worksheets
ANL has light- and heavy-duty idle reduction worksheets for drivers and fleet managers on their Idle Reduction Tools and Outreach Materials (http://www.transportation.anl.gov/engines/idling_tools.html) page. The worksheets can help calculate the cost of avoidable idling, as well as potential savings from reducing idling time by implementing technologies and practices.

Additional Resources

For additional information about idling and idle reduction, please see the following resources:

For more information on idle reduction for your fleet or community contact:

Laura Palombi
Business Development Director
734-585-5720 x22

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