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313-832-5700 I www.TheWhitney.com
January 31 • 2013
Lunch I Dinner I Sunday Brunch
The Whitney Gardens
Hiller's markets add energy-saving
features through state program.
Robin Schwartz I Contributing Writer
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Businesses that use authorized con-
tractors can take advantage of low-inter-
est financing (from $2,000-$150,000)
for energy-efficient lighting, heating and
cooling systems, insulation and other
upgrades. Special incentives of $2,000 are
also offered to restaurants, convenience
stores and grocery stores.
Michigan Saves was established in
2009 with a grant from the Michigan
Public Service Commission; it became
independent in 2011. Its programs are
expanding thanks to several grants
awarded by state agencies and the U.S.
Department of Energy.
"This is a win-win-win for
Michiganders," Gov. Snyder is quoted as
saying. "It helps businesses save on costs,
creates good-paying jobs and moves us
toward a greener energy future"
Dollars And Sense
While some changes, like the new light-
ing, may be noticeable to shoppers,
others are less obvious. Hiller's replaced
its condensers on the roof with new
technology expected to save the com-
pany $500 per month. Reach-in freezer
doors are now equipped with anti-sweat
controllers and sensors that keep track
of how frequently the doors are opened
and closed. So far, the changes have only
been made at certain locations. The
company expects to save 25 percent on
energy costs at the Northville store.
"We're upgrading one store at a time
with most of the larger equipment like
the condensers" Hiller said. "The lights
and sweat controllers were added to
three stores, Commerce, Northville and
Plymouth. The effort is ongoing"
By reducing operating costs, Hiller
added, they're able to pass along the sav-
ings to customers.
"It's a penny-pushing game" he said.
"Any changes we make to the bottom line
have a significant impact on the price
structure in stores and allow us to offer a
better customer shopping experience."
Homeowners are also saving energy
and money through a similar program
called Better Buildings for Michigan. In
southeast Michigan, organizers say more
than 2,800 homeowners have received
$100 home energy audits (professional
inspections to pinpoint where homes
are losing energy) and are taking advan-
tage of rebates and incentives to make
improvements like adding insulation or
replacing furnaces and hot water heat-
ers. Participants also get energy-efficient
light bulbs, showerheads, faucets and
programmable thermostats free of
"Homeowners who've made upgrades
are saving an average of $475 per year
and report improved comfort in their
homes" said program director Sue
McAlpine. "More than 30 communi-
ties in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and
Washtenaw counties are eligible to par-
ticipate, including Huntington Woods,
Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, Detroit and