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West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the Energy Efficiency Subcommittee of the Kent County Essential Needs Taskforce will host a forum discussion that will introduce how energy innovation and sustainability might positively impact the need for emergency utility assistance in West Michigan through improvements in technology, partnerships, or public policy.

Thousands of West Michigan homes rely on a variety of assistance programs to pay their gas and electric bills during the winter months and throughout the year.  Public funding for these programs is increasingly at risk, with local agencies able to provide services for fewer clients each year.

The two-hour forum will define the issues and facilitate discussion toward potential innovations.  A panel will highlight Key Barriers for Consistent Utility Access, How Utility Assistance Works, Potential Systems Level Solutions and Current Initiatives.  Table discussions will follow on theme: “How can we reduce the need for emergency assistance through innovation or investment?”

Panelists include:

  • Susan Cervantes, Director, Kent County Community Action and ENTF Chair
  • James Geisen, District Manager, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Brad Banks, Energy Efficiency Analyst, Electric Reliability Division, Michigan Public Service Commission
  • Brett Little, Executive Director, GreenHome Institute
  • John Kinch, Executive Director, Michigan Energy Options

WMSBF December Forum: Can Sustainability Improve Emergency Utility Assistance?
Monday, December 9
12:00 pm to 2 pm
(Doors open at 11:30 am)
$17 online / $22 at event Members
$25 online / $30 at event Non-members