Orion Township-based Powers Distributing Co. is the first beer distributor in the nation to participate in the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, which offers long-term loans for energy updates.
“Clean, renewable energy has evolved from being a good idea to also being good business,” says Gary Thompson, CEO of Powers Distributing. He says the company is now one of Michigan’s largest private investors in renewable energy.
Thompson says the Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE program allows property owners to receive long-term loans for energy upgrades at fixed interest rates by working with municipalities to repay the loans through property tax bills.
Orion Township leaders created a PACE district in December 2015 by joining the statewide Lean & Green Michigan PACE program, which covers 18 counties and seven cities and townships in Oakland County.
Thompson says the company has been working toward becoming more environmentally friendly the last few years by adding more than 16,000 square feet of solar panels to its recycling center, which reduced monthly energy costs by $2,000, installed LED lighting, and began working towards becoming a zero landfill business.
He says the company also owns and runs on hybrid fleet of tractor trailers, with 20 hybrid tractors, along with 10 hybrid cars and seven flex-fuel vehicles.
According to Thompson, the conservation efforts will go even further with future projects under the PACE program, which was funded by Petros PACE Finance.
Powers Distributing has more than 250 employees and 45 trucks managing 85 brands such as Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. in Warren, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. in Akron, Ohio, and Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colo.