Pontiac, MI, May 13, 2010 – Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson kicked off the OakGreen Challenge this morning at the 2nd Annual Oakland County Green Summit in Waterford. He encouraged all Oakland County residents, businesses, organizations and local governments to reduce their energy consumption by 10% by the end of 2012.
“It is a lofty goal,” Patterson said. “But since 2005, Oakland County has saved taxpayers $4 million in my county budget on utility costs by using energy saving devices and methods. We want to help other communities share in that savings in this time of tight budgets.” Patterson added being green in Oakland County simply makes sense in order to protect the county’s natural resources. “Oakland County is home to thousands of acres of park land and green space and five major river watersheds which we want to keep clean.” Oakland County will support those who choose to participate in the OakGreen Challenge in a variety of ways. The county will:
• Help to pursue opportunities to get retrofit monies (tax incentives, rebates, grants, loans, etc.) into the hands of the public officials, residents and business owners.
• Create a green vendor database.
• Foster the formation of Green Teams across the County.
• Form an OakGreen Advisory Committee with representatives from the public and private sector.
• Be a nexus for all Energy Star resources.
• And highlight services and technologies with mailings, in workshops, on web site with links to product descriptions.
To support this endeavor, Oakland County has launched the OakGreen Challenge website, oakgov.com/oakgreen, where participants will find the resources they need to help them meet their goals.
The Annual Oakland County Green Summit is designed to assist local governments, residents, and the private and nonprofit sectors to forge new connections to work together to promote energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. It is hosted by Oakland County’s Department of Facilities Management and Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs. This year’s summit was hosted at Oakland Schools, which generously donated the use of its auditorium.
Three Oakland County cities received awards at the summit from Patterson and Deputy County Executive Doug Smith recognizing their efforts over the course of the past year to become greener:
• The City of Wixom received an award for working to transform the former Ford Wixom Assembly Plant into the Wixom Renewable Energy Park which will become the world’s largest renewable energy manufacturing, training, research and development campus. Plus, the city recently received a grant to convert 55 metal halide decorative street lights to Light Emitting Diode technology. Assistant City Manager Tony Nowicki accepted the award.
• The City of Novi received an award in recognition of the Novi City Council’s adoption of policies and ordinances to encourage green development; implementation of a "Walkable Novi" plan; and formation of an internal "Green Venture" team to identify strategies for saving energy, increasing recycling, and conserving water. Community Development Director Barbara McBeth accepted the plaque.
• The City of Farmington Hills won their 2nd award at the summit for currently seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the Gold Level for it's new city hall; launching a new comprehensive sustainability website, www.SustainableFH.com
; and creating a Green Efforts Committee to recommend energy saving projects and grant priorities. Management Assistant Nate Geinzer collected the award.
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at 248-858-1048.