Third annual Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards honor Michiganders for innovative energy solutions

 Photo courtesy: Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards
Photo courtesy: Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards (WLUC)
Published: Aug. 3, 2017 at 11:45 AM EDT
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Twenty-three businesses, organizations, and individuals from across the state have been selected as finalists for the 2017 Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards, which recognize people and organizations in Michigan that have taken firm, meaningful actions to improve energy efficiency.

“Through our policies and initiatives in Michigan, we are working hard to ensure energy reliability, advance clean energy and help business owners and residents reduce energy waste,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “Among other things, we’re encouraging utilities to provide incentives and programs that make it easier for others to follow the example of those we’re honoring this year.”

Nominations were made in eight different categories, which demonstrate the diverse nature of energy-efficiency deployment. The award winners will be announced at a singular event in mid-October.

Following is a list of this year’s finalists by category (Upper Peninsula locations are emphasized with bold text):

Best Projects — Residential

Marti Burbeck, Ann Arbor

Sandra Keirnan, Holland

Tom Tishler, Kalamazoo

Best Projects — Agriculture

Friske Orchards, Charlevoix

Grand Valley Farms, Rives Junction

Sklarczyk Seed Farm, Johannesburg

Best Projects — Industrial/Manufacturing

HyCAL Corporation, Gibraltar

Verso Corporation, Escanaba
Best Projects — Commercial (Private)

First Housing Corporation, Lansing

Gateway Village, Sturgis

Islamic Center of America, Dearborn

Best Projects — Public
Ewen-Trout Creek School, Ewen

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo

Public Libraries of Saginaw, Saginaw

Contractor of the Year

Better World Builders LLC, Kalamazoo

Don Earl Heating & A/C, Sault Ste. Marie

Medler Electric, Alma

Innovator of the Year

Walt Dindoffer, Temperance

Holland Energy Fund, Holland

Carla Walker-Miller, Detroit

Best Communication or Education Program

Consumers Energy, Okemos

GreenHome Institute, Grand Rapids

The Heat and Warmth Fund, Detroit

Four other organizations received honorable mentions, including:

Best Project — Agriculture: Nash Greenhouses LLC, Kalamazoo

Best Project — Commercial (Private): Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing

Best Project — Public: Ann Arbor Housing Commission, Ann Arbor

Innovator of the Year: Southwest Housing Solutions, Detroit

“Michigan’s policies regarding our energy market, renewable energy and energy waste reduction are helping fuel Michigan’s economy and create jobs in the process,” Governor Snyder said. “We cannot forget, however, that our cheapest energy is that which isn’t used.”


The Governor's Energy Excellence Awards honor Michigan individuals and organizations who have made reducing energy waste and implementing energy-efficient practices part of their everyday lives. The awards would not be possible without the support of the Department of Energy and the Michigan Agency for Energy through the Michigan Energy Office. For more information, visit