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What’s New

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

Ford’s Truth About Transit Tour coming to Detroit
June 26, 2014


The All-New Ford family of vans, the Transit and Transit Connect, are coming to Detroit July 9th and 10th for the Truth About Transit Tour. Ford Motor Company is offering an exclusive opportunity for fleet owners, commercial customers and dealers to drive and learn about the all-new 2015 Ford Transit. The Truth About Transit Tour will visit 19 cities across the United States from June into October.

Participants will test drive models on a closed course specially designed to let them evaluate Transit’s technology, handling, and versatility. They also will visit a unique hands-on interactive garage for a behind-the-scenes look at how Ford Transit is Built Ford Tough. Ford will have top product specialists on site who can answer questions about the all-new 2015 Transit. Tour participants can view upfit vehicles to envision how Ford Transit can be customized to fit their needs. Ford specialists also will be available to conduct personalized vehicle walk-around demonstrations at fleet and commercial customers’ places of business.

The new line of Ford Transit and Transit Connect offer an improved line up of “green” vehicle options. The new line will be available for CNG or LPG conversion. Transit and E-Series brand manager Minyang Jiang told Fleets & Fuels that: “A gaseous-prep version of the 3.7-liter engine will be available for natural gas or propane autogas conversions for $315.”

The new Transit comes standard with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine. Options include the 3.5-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine, and the “globally proven” 3.2-liter Power Stroke brand diesel which is B20 capable. The Transit will also will have FlexFuel capabilities. The Transit Connect offers the same gaseous-prep options as well as the option for a 1.6L EcoBoost engine.

Other petroleum reduction capabilities include customizable racks, allowing for space optimization and better weight distribution.
To learn more about the new Ford Transit and Transit Connect register for the Truth About Transit Tour at www.fordtransittour.com for commercial business owners with fleets of one to 25 vehicles and www.fordtransittour/fleet for larger fleet customers.

Five ingredients for meeting sustainability goals
June 26, 2014


The 2012 Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Study and Research Report published by MIT found that “Sixty-one percent of companies that have changed their business model and have sustainability as a permanent fixture on their management agenda say they have added profit from sustainability.” To help your business see added profits, happier employees and build a stronger brand here are our five ingredients to develop and move forward with implementing your sustainability goals.

1. Vision
To truly achieve sustainable business operations, it is important to assess your current business environment and develop a long term vision. Understanding where you are and where you would like to be will help you define your vision and create a comprehensive plan tailored to meet your needs and goals.

2. Knowledge
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are countless examples of best practices and successful strategies to help inspire your sustainability strategy. Strong leadership is key, and will not only drive innovative solutions to your unique business challenges, but will also help you educate your employees and the broader community on the value of making your vision a reality.

3. Funding
With a clear implementation plan in place, your business can be “shovel ready” for grant opportunities when they are available. Pay attention to relevant funding opportunities that allow you to reduce the capital commitment required to complete your plan.

4. Quality
Good decisions are based on high-quality research, plans, and communications. High quality work coupled with efficient implementation ensures that your sustainability plan and projects exceed expectations while improving your company’s bottom line.

5. Experience
The best sustainability vision covers all aspects of company operations, from employee benefits programs to greenhouse gas emission inventories. To effectively bring these elements together, rely on a diverse team with a variety of backgrounds and experience to develop and support the successful execution of your plan.

If you need a little extra help to manage a comprehensive sustainability program, Clean Energy Coalition will bring our team of experts to you. Our diverse team, which includes building energy professionals, policy analysts, architects, planners, and community outreach specialists, have experience managing a wide range of energy efficiency and clean energy projects. Clean Energy Coalition can provide your business with a complete set of skills to manage complex projects in a manner that is both cost-effective and results-driven.

To learn more about how Clean Energy Coalition can help you define and meet your sustainability goals, attend our webinar on June 30 at 12:00. Register here.

For more information on how to develop and implement your own sustainability plan contact:

Laura Palombi
Business Development Director
734-585-5720 x22

Ten Steps to Become a Solar Ready Community
June 26, 2014

Solar Array

Move your city forward into a prosperous and sustainable future by becoming a solar ready community. By offering an encouraging atmosphere for the implementation of solar, cities can help generate job opportunities, support local solar industries, and become eligible for various solar energy grants.

For many communities sustainability plans, renewable energy goals, and GHG reduction plans can seem achievable during the planning stages but once it is time to implement everything seems to come to a halt. For communities with renewable energy goals, one hurdle that can arise is unfavorable permitting and zoning for the installation of solar. The Ten Steps to Becoming Solar Ready Guidebook outlines actions to reduce such barriers, among others, that are associated with the installation of solar in communities. To help communities address and overcome these challenges, here are the Ten Steps to Becoming Solar Ready.

The following ten steps provide a pathway for Michigan local government to achieve Solar Readiness. Many of these steps can be taken simultaneously and all can be adapted to suit local needs.

First and foremost, introduce the concept of Solar Readiness to raise awareness and gather support for the project. Reaching out to neighboring jurisdictions and utility providers is important to consider during this step.

The resolution adoption process introduces the conversation of solar at the leadership level, helping to both inform and ensure buy-in from local officials.

Planning document language that supports the advancement of solar will set the direction towards Solar Readiness and provide the basis for solar-related land use regulation.

Solar language in your zoning codes will give clear guidance about how solar installations are to be integrated into the community.

Common information and permit language will help residents, businesses, developers and installers have a clearer understanding of the local and regional expectations with regard to solar installation.

Online and printed materials that detail how solar installation works in the community will help interested property owners and installers understand local expectations and better prepare for an installation process.

Establishing solar installation targets will help continue the momentum and ensure that measures are taken to ensure solar readiness leadership in Michigan.

Increasing staff familiarity with solar technology and installation will help make the permitting process more efficient.

Working with development specialists on solar can leverage your Solar Ready Community’s status to enhance economic reinvention.

Last, but not least, going the extra mile is for communities that are really looking to be a solar leader by developing creative outreach efforts and encouraging programs.
Through the implementation and utilization of these ten steps of becoming Solar Ready, you can prepare your community to help generate job opportunities, support local solar industries, and diversify your energy source dependence. Becoming Solar Ready will help open up your community to new opportunities for economic growth, along with moving your city into a prosperous and sustainable future.

For more information on how your community can become solar ready contact:

Heather Seyfarth
Program Supervisor
734-585-5720 x21

Why sustainability matters for businesses
June 20, 2014

Sustainability should no longer be seen as a buzzword by businesses, but as a necessary strategic consideration in an increasingly globalized and socially-conscious marketplace. Sustainable business practices can boost your organization’s bottom line while representing you as a responsible member of the business community. Incorporating comprehensive sustainability strategies, such as energy efficiency, fleet optimization, employee engagement programs, and long term strategic planning into your business operations can create tremendous cost savings and increase your competitive advantage in a rapidly changing marketplace. The 2012 Sustainability & Innovation Global Executive Study and Research Report published by MIT found that “Sixty-one percent of companies that have changed their business model and have sustainability as a permanent fixture on their management agenda say they have added profit from sustainability. ”

How Can Clean Energy Coalition Help?
Many businesses are limited in the amount of in-house time and expertise that can be devoted to sustainability initiatives. Clean Energy Coalition’s team of professionals trained in engineering, architecture, urban planning, public policy, and sustainable business practices will work closely with your team to develop a sustainability strategy tailored specifically to your strategic goals. Clean Energy Coalition will also serve as your on-call sustainability office, managing the implement these goals and more. Our role is to manage effective programs- from the visioning process to implementation. Our team’s experience will help your business define your goals, identify the most cost-effective solutions, secure grant funding, reduce project time and maximize resulting cost savings, much like private consulting services. CEC is a non-profit company with a mission to create healthier, energy independent communities and our goal is to bring our non-biased, technical expertise to your organization.

Some of our services include:
Climate Action and Adaptation Plans
Alternative Fuel and Vehicle Deployment
Energy Management and Building Performance Improvements
Renewable Energy Use
Innovative Financing Program Implementation

Register now and attend a free webinar, June 30 at 12:00, to find out how Clean Energy Coalition can help you define and meet your sustainability goals. Click here to register.

2014 Mayor’s Green Fair
June 11, 2014

June 13 marks the 14th annual Mayor’s Green Fair in Ann Arbor. The event, held in downtown Ann Arbor from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, will celebrate businesses and non-profits throughout Washtenaw County that are “earth” friendly and energy efficient. Main Street will be closed between Huron Street and William Street, where a variety of exhibitors displaying information on energy efficiency, alternative fuels, renewable energy and more, will line the streets. Green Fair will be a “zero waste” event as well, in an attempt to reduce the event’s footprint.

The Clean Energy Expo, located between Washington Street and Liberty Street, will feature a variety of exhibitors focused on alternative energy and energy efficiency. Residential energy experts will be handing out information on energy saving opportunities for homeowners, and representatives from the City and DTE will be providing details on energy saving programs for residents.

From the transportation sector, industry leaders in alternative fuels, along with hybrid and electric vehicles, will be on-site displaying the latest in clean transportation.  Crazy Diamond Performance will be bringing one of their alternative fuel hot rods, the Gasser, showcasing American muscle running on clean American fuel. A2 Automotive and Ford will bring electric and hybrid vehicles, and Current Motor will showcase their electric scooters. ArborBike, the upcoming Ann Arbor Bike Share program, will also be debuting the ArborBike itself by offering test rides to anyone interested.

The event is full of other exciting exhibits as well, including live music, chalk murals, and the Arbor Brewing Company beer tent. We look forward to seeing you in Downtown Ann Arbor on June 13th! For more information visitwww.a2gov.org/greenfair

For more information on Ann Arbor Clean Cities and other events sign up for our newsletter or contact:

Josh Rego
Ann Arbor Clean Cities Coordinator
734.585.5720 x25

ArborBike – installation plans coming into form
June 5, 2014
ArborBike station locations

ArborBike station locations

ArborBike is getting closer and closer to launch. The very first assembled ArborBike was on display for Bike To Work Day as part of the getDowntown Program’s Commuter Challenge. Stationed at a future ArborBike kiosk at the Ann Arbor District Library’s downtown branch, bike enthusiasts were able to get their first look, feel, and ride on the new bike share bikes. The first of 125 bikes even displayed a Planet Blue decal from Title Sponsor University of Michigan. For more on the event visit our recent post here.

So when will the stations and bikes be on the streets of Ann Arbor? Plans for the stations have been submitted to the City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan and are pending approval. As planned, the first 14 ArborBike stations will be installed this summer, potentially as soon as late June. Due to different review processes and varying site preparation needs we will install the stations in a phased approach. The first phase of stations will consist of some stations on UM campus as well as some on private property. The second phase will consist of the stations located in the public right-of-way and a few sites that require more substantial site modifications that are being integrated into existing construction schedules.

The ArborBike stations need to have a good base of concrete for stability and for ease of use. Some of our stations are planned for spaces with existing concrete, and these will be the easiest to install. Others require a new concrete pad to be poured. In an effort to be as efficient as possible some of the site improvements are being included in existing sidewalk programs and other construction projects.

Regardless of placement and site conditions, we are hopeful that all 14 stations will be installed yet this summer, and we will send out special announcements when we are closer to launch. Make sure you visit ArborBike.org, sign up for the ArborBike email list and follow us on facebook and twitter to stay up to date on the project status, launch date and deals from our sponsors. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor download our sponsor packet.

For more information on ArborBike contact:

Nick Helmholdt
ArborBike Operations Manager
734.585.5720 x13

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