Next Steps - Michigan Interfaith Power & Light

Next Steps

Congregations that have participated in Light the Way, our energy efficiency for houses of worship program, may already be saving energy and money with free upgrades like LED lights. You've also received a report from Consumers Energy that outlines your facility's recommended next steps. This is your roadmap!  (If you need another copy of your Energy Assessment report, contact Jennifer at [email protected] or 248-463-8811.)

Because of state energy legislation, Michigan utilities are required to help their customers reduce their energy waste. That's why there are several ways to get discounts and rebates on energy saving projects. We are here to help you navigate these programs! 

University Lutheran Church's Story

University Lutheran Church in East Lansing reduced its electricity usage over 40%, thanks in large part to the efforts of Dale Romsos of the Facilities Team and Judy Kindel of the Earthkeeping Team.  These efforts saved the church $6,000 in 2019 alone.  

Rebates from Consumers Energy:
  • covered 50-75% of the cost of upgrading the interior lighting throughout the building
  • replaced their parking lot lighting for just $1,000 on a job for which a contractor quoted them $25,000
  • covered $3,000 of the church's $3,600 annual boiler maintenance

Learn more and see slides from the ULC team as they share about this journey, including installing solar.  

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church's story

Rev. Dr. Willie F. Casey, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Saginaw, noticed the lighting in the sanctuary was dim and dingy and suspected that it needed cleaning. As he looked into, it he saw that the fixtures themselves had turned yellow. That prompted him to conduct an extensive replacement of the church’s lighting. The church r
eplaced over 40 4-foot T12 fluorescent lights with high-efficiency LEDs and retrofitted the exterior lighting.  

Consumers Energy's Instant Discount Program
  • Saved the church 60% on the cost of the lights, which will yield immediate savings on energy bills

Pastor Casey is saving on energy bills and says the new LEDs make the building feel fresh and bright: "It’s a whole different building inside and out. And beyond better illumination, it’s also about caring for God’s Creation."

Wait, Why is Consumers Offering Discounts and Rebates?

One of the ways utilities make profits is by selling us energy. So why would they want to help us save energy? We get this question a lot.

Since the enactment of the Clean, Renewable, and Efficient Energy Act of 2008, and the extension of the Energy Efficiency Standard in 2016, Michigan utilities are required to spend a percentage of their profits on energy efficiency products and services for their customers. Programs like this-- which we helped advocate for!-- help utilities fulfill this obligation and move Michigan toward a cleaner, more efficient energy future. 

Instant Discount Program

For straightforward projects, you can save money by buying energy efficiency products through Consumers Energy's Instant Discount Program

  1. Find your products online and view the discounts available 
  2. Purchase through a local distributor
  3. Install them yourself or hire a professional

This option:

  • Gets you instant discounts, with no paperwork or wait for rebates
  • Is good for more specialized products you can't find at a big box store

Online Marketplace

Consumers Energy’s Online Marketplace allows you to purchase energy efficient products with the convenience of online shopping and free shipping. Available products include: 

  • LED fixtures, linear tubes, and screw-in bulbs
  • lighting occupancy sensors
  • water saving measures
  • smart WIFI thermostats
  • pipe wrap
  • smart power strips

This option: 

  • Gets you deep discounts on energy-saving products with the ease of online shopping
  • Better for everyday energy efficiency products, not specialty items

Enter code SB25 at to get 25% off your first order.

Apply for Rebates

For larger or more complex projects-- from lighting and refrigeration to HVAC-- you'll want to investigate Consumers Energy's Rebate Catalog and Application process

This option: 

  • Helps you save on larger or more complex projects
  • Is good if you have the technical knowledge to implement a project yourself OR are working with a contractor (find a Consumers Energy-approved contractor who can help you navigate the process here
  • Requires that an application be approved before you begin your project (including purchasing products); the rebate is provided after the completion of the project

Watch our "Discounts and Rebates 101" Webinar

In this webinar, Mike Olsen, an Energy Advisor with Consumers Energy's Business Energy Efficiency Programs, explains how to get the discounts above and walks us through the process-- step-by-step-- of applying for and receiving rebates for energy saving projects at your house of worship.

Mike's presentation starts at 7:23. 

Slides from this webinar can be viewed here.

Check out other past webinars:

Reach out to us for help!

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is to inspire and equip people of faith to be better stewards of Earth. Helping congregations save energy and reducing their reliance on fossil fuels is one way we advance this mission! As a result of our efforts, we are proud that there are more ENERGY STAR-certified congregations in Michigan than in any other state. 

Because state energy legislation requires our utilities to invest in helping their customers save energy, we work with Consumers Energy on this program and are here to provide you with FREE support navigating these programs. 

Contact our Energy Programs Manager Jennifer Young: 

And finally, if you haven't already celebrated the energy savings steps your faith community has taken thus far, please consider doing so and making energy stewardship part of your congregational life. Here's a link to a template service bulletin announcement that you can share with your congregation to celebrate the steps your faith community has taken in it's energy stewardship journey!