Credits energy efficiency programs for superior savings

Kevin DeHerrera had no idea a few basic energy efficiency steps would lead to exceptional savings for his liquid fertilizer company.

Initially he was a little hesitant when he was approached earlier this year by one of Consumers Energy’s small business trade allies. Meekhof Electric showed DeHerrera how his Lakeshore Ag Distributors business in Saugatuck could save energy and money.

“I really didn’t know what to expect when they were pitching me on how I can save money,” DeHerrera said. “They were upfront and said they would do the labor and then talked about the various energy efficiency programs Consumers Energy offered that I would be eligible for.”

Founded in 2019, Lakeshore has five employees and manufactures liquid commercial fertilizer.

At first, DeHerrera questioned why would an energy provider help him save energy leading them to receive less money from him?

As part of Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, we are asking businesses and customers to lower their energy use. The plan puts us on a path to eliminate coal; reduce carbon emissions by over 90 percent; and meet customers’ future electricity capacity needs with 90 percent clean energy resources by 2040.

DeHerrera took a leap of faith with Meekhof and Consumers Energy, landing on the LED light exchange program. He had 35 of his incandescent warehouse lights replaced with brand new LEDs at his 15,000 square foot facility.

“Early on I could see this would be great for my business,” he said. “It even exceeded my expectations. The savings have been off the charts. They really have been life-altering for me.”

Since late summer he has seen his monthly energy bill go from an average of more than $900 to under $400 – over a 50 percent reduction.

“More than $500 in savings a month is a big deal for a company of my size,” he said. “It helps me reinvest in my company by helping me get more inventory and keep prices low for my customers. It helps me stay competitive. What more can you ask?”IMG-1906

It will take about two years to break even on his LED investment, he added.

“And the place is much brighter than it was before,” he said. “That helps with employee safety, which we take very seriously.”

He also put new LED bulbs in his home earlier this year. That has helped cut his electric bill in half.

He said he wasn’t aware of the energy efficiency analysis, rebates and incentives available for residential customers through Consumers Energy.

“But that’s something I am definitely going to look into,” he said. “When it comes to Consumers Energy and its allies helping me save money, I am sold.”

The company’s energy efficiency programs have helped customers save $2.5 billion since they were created in 2009.

Learn more about the Clean Energy Plan and energy efficiency programs for your business at

To learn more about how energy efficiency programs can help your home, visit