Oakland County Distributor to Make Clean Energy History Wednesday

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Powers Distributing is 1st in U.S. to join landmark energy program, build Michigan’s 3rd largest solar installation

Powers Distributing Co.

“Clean, renewable energy has evolved from being a good idea to also being good business,” said Gary Thompson, Powers’ chief operating officer.

Powers Distributing Co., a family-owned company with a strong commitment to sustainability, is now one of Michigan’s largest private investors in clean, renewable energy - and the first beer distributor in the United States to participate in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program.

“Clean, renewable energy has evolved from being a good idea to also being good business,” said Gary Thompson, Powers’ chief operating officer.

Thompson and Powers’ staff welcomed Orion Township officials and environmental professionals to their Orion Township headquarters Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the announcement. Those in attendance learned more about the company’s ongoing environmental efforts while gaining insight into how any business can use PACE financing to help the environment and make a positive impact on the quality of life for the community.

“Powers is a multi-generation family company with deep roots in our community,” said Thompson. “Investing in sustainability and clean energy is part of our commitment to our community, our state and to future generations.”

A dedication to environmental efforts is nothing new at Powers. From 2013 to 2015, the company added more than 16,000 square-feet of solar panels to its recycling center, reduced monthly energy costs by $2,000, installed LED lighting, and began working towards becoming a zero landfill business. The company owns and runs the world’s largest privately-held hybrid fleet of tractor trailers – another environmentally conscious move.

According to Thompson, those efforts will go even farther with future projects under the PACE program. This isn’t an opportunity limited to any one kind of business.

According to Andy Levin, founder of Lean & Green Michigan, PACE is something that goes at the speed of business. “Any kind of business can benefit,” he said.

Through Lean & Green Michigan, Levin has created a co-op approach, allowing many local governments to join together to make PACE accessible to thousands of business owners across the state.

A few guidelines make this possible. Each PACE project must be cash flow positive, saving more money through reduced utility bills than the cost of repaying the loan. The Lean & Green Michigan program is open to all local governments across the state – for free. And, it is a uniform program, so financing is handled the same way across all participating jurisdictions – making it easier for both lenders and those interested in applying to participate.

Levin said: “Powers is most interesting because it is the very first beer distributor in the country to complete a clean energy upgrade using this financing.”

Thompson said PACE allows business owners to make the improvements they need to make with an eye on a better future. “Renewable energy and energy efficiency are critical to conservation and reduce our dependence on imported fuels,” he said. PACE will allow us to continue to do business, and save money, in the future, while having less of an impact on the environment where we live.”

What’s next for Powers?

We’ll have to wait and see. “We don’t have a next project identified yet, but PACE will put us in a position to be ready for it,” said Thompson.

Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett anticipates the company will continue to inspire others in the community.

“Powers Distributing Co. has been leading the PACE initiative and been a leader in our area, when it comes to sustainability efforts,” said Barnett. “They have the largest fleet of hybrid tractor trailers and are the 5th largest employer in the township.”

“We’re thrilled that Powers is bringing PACE to Oakland County. It’s good for the environment. It’s pro-business.”

About Powers Distributing Co.

Powers Distributing Co. Inc. is locally-owned and operated company that for four generations has been committed to providing consumers and retailers with expert inventory management of a large selection of the finest products, while ensuring product freshness, accountable marketing and sales, all while promoting the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages and working to maintain a greener, more sustainable environment. With more than 75 years of experience delivering beer, Powers Distributing earned Beverage World magazine’s 2014 Beer Wholesaler of the Year award and the National Beer Wholesaler’s Association’s 2011 Craft Beer Distributor of the Year award. Powers Distributing is located at 3700 Giddings Road, Orion Township, Mich. 48359. For more information please visit http://www.powersdistributing.com and connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

About PACE

Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE allows property owners to receive long-term loans for energy upgrades at a fixed interest rates by working with municipalities to repay the loans through their property tax bills. Orion Township leaders created a township-wide PACE district in December 2015 by joining the statewide Lean & Green Michigan PACE program, which to date covers 18 counties and seven cities and townships in Oakland County, representing 52 percent of Michigan’s population. Nationally, 32 states plus DC have passed PACE statutes and over $200,000,000 of clean energy projects have been completed on commercial, industrial and nonprofit buildings.

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Andrew S. Levin
since: 07/2011
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