Houghton Energy Efficiency Team Opening Endowment with Keweenaw Community Foundation

Aiming for Five Million Dollar Georgetown University Energy Prize

April 26, 2016

Hancock, Michigan—The Houghton Energy Efficiency Team (HEET) has opened an endowment with the Keweenaw Community Foundation (KCF) to help raise funds needed to make Houghton County more energy efficient.

HEET was formed in the summer of 2014 as a way to help the residents of Houghton County navigate the challenging energy landscape facing the Upper Peninsula as well as competing for the five million dollar Georgetown University Energy Prize. HEET worked with diverse members of the community to develop the Houghton County Energy Plan, which outlines a vision of becoming a model for rural communities. To reach this vision, HEET members connect various groups, residents, businesses and denominations with existing local resources to help save money on their utility bills.

“Taking energy efficiency measures sets the table for interesting and informed conversation about our area’s energy future—and there is opportunity wrapped in the challenge of our electric rate,” said Melissa Davis, HEET Energy Manager. “We serve as a focal point for responsible action as a stepping stone to thoughtful consideration of the possibilities and obstacles. We hope that the area takes this opportunity to engage, directly helping those who need it most and moving towards a proactive rather than reactive energy future. Show up. Learn Skills. Help Out.”

Houghton County was announced as one of 50 communities from across the country named as a semifinalist in the hunt for the five million dollar Georgetown University Energy Prize. Competing communities need to demonstrate their ability to reduce energy consumption over a two-year period (2015-2016). If Houghton County wins, the Prize will go into a fund at the KCF which will create a self-perpetuating program to continue efforts to make Houghton County energy efficient and independent.

Jim Vivian, Executive Director of the Keweenaw Community Foundation (KCF), said, “The price we pay for energy is one of the highest in the country. One of the ways we can reduce the costs of our utility bills is through making our homes more energy efficient. HEET helps our environment, our wallets, and our quality of life in Houghton County, and we’re proud to be partnering with them.” Through KCF, community members can provide help through tax-deductible donations.

For more information on the Houghton Energy Efficiency Team or to be added to their boots-on-the-ground winterization campaign, please contact Melissa Davis at melissa@newpowertour.com.

Contact: Kyle Krym (kyle@k-c-f.org) or Melissa Davis (melissa@newpowertour.com)