Steve Depew has only been the senior facilities director at the Jackson YMCA for a short time – but has made an immediate financial impact with energy savings of around $25,000 and counting.

Depew, who started his new post in May, has helped the Y find additional ways to save money. He credits working with us on various energy efficiency rebates and incentives as a major reason for the energy savings.

FitnessClass2“One of the first things I did when I started here was join the emergency demand response program,” said Depew, who was part of the program when he previously worked at a private school in Lenawee County. “And we’ve seen great success right away. We’ve really hit the ground running. We are more than happy to be part of the movement to protect our environment.”

When electric load is high on the grid in summer, the demand response program asks businesses to keep their energy use to a minimum until otherwise notified. Together, demand response participants create a “virtual” power plant that helps manage Michigan’s energy needs. And since demand response is “virtual” the electricity provided is green and renewable.

Each time the Jackson YMCA is requested to do that, it receives an incentive of about $3,800.

“That’s no small savings,” said Depew. “It really helps us with our budget.”

Shedding Light on More Energy Savings  IMG_0765

Through energy efficiency programs, the YMCA has installed 1,488 new LED bulbs throughout the 65,000 square foot downtown facility. The Y also has a second branch in Summit Township.

The Jackson Y has more than 8,400 members and almost 1,000 daily visitors to the downtown branch.

Depew added that by working with a Consumers Energy business account manager, the YMCA has realized additional savings of $14,000 annually by simply changing their energy rate plan. Rate plans can vary and businesses are encouraged to contact their account managers to see if it’s the proper plan for them. Find the best rate plan for your home or business.

Bright Future

The YMCA is currently in a capital campaign to build a new facility. A new building means additional opportunities to reduce energy costs, such as solar panels.

“I’m looking forward to what we can do in the future,” Depew said. “There’s more money to be saved with Consumers Energy through their energy efficiency rebate programs.”

For more information on our movement to protect the environment, visit To learn more about energy efficiency programs for your business, visit To learn more about the Jackson YMCA, visit