Recently, OppFund provided a loan to the Michigan Suburbs Alliance (MSA). This loan helps support energy efficiency initiatives through the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, a unique collaboration of nonprofits, which offers tools for cities to become more energy efficient.
The OppFund loan provided working capital for energy improvements and efficiency projects in a four county region (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw). The projects provide cities and counties the potential to cut costs, reduce energy pollution, use green initiatives, improve infrastructure and public spaces, and create local jobs.
These municipalities in the four-county region have large inventories of building stock and infrastructure built before 1960 which are not energy efficient. Thanks to OppFund’s loan support, the MSA has been able to move forward with many energy saving programs, including historic façade improvements with added insulation, adding solar water and heating, use of wind energy to reduce costs and replacing old mercury vapor streetlights with new LED technology. Street lighting is often a large cost for local unit budgets. Using LED bulbs results in lower costs, less energy use, and better street lighting. Good lighting is critical for residents to feel safe, increase walkability, and improve the overall attractiveness of any downtown area.
By reducing energy costs, MSA assists this four-county region with meeting its core duties of providing public safety and related services for residents, while also improving public infrastructure.