Newman project at The Whitney wins GLREA award

FARMINGTON HILLS — The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association has awarded Newman Consulting Group LLC its “Exemplary Project Award” for its energy efficiency project at The Whitney restaurant in Detroit.

The award came at GLREA’s annual meeting, held Dec. 2 in Lansing.

Newman Consulting was commended for its work at the Whitney, a 120-year-old mansion on Woodward Avenue that’s on the National Register of Hisotric Places and which has operated as a restaurant for more than 30 years.

Newman Consulting is using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing system to pay for energy efficiency improvements at The Whitney that will save the restaurant more than 25 percent in energy costs. The project began with a comprehensive energy analysos. and will include improved, energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and controls, LED lighting, and high-efficiency windows.

GLREA makes the annual Exemplary Project Award to recognize the renewable energy or energy efficiency project that demonstrates the most innovative and practical use of technologies and methods for creating or conserving energy.

PACE financing makes it easy for property owners to invest in energy efficiency by spreading the cost out over many years — 20 years in this case — and guaranteeing that the investment is cash flow positive for the borrower from day one.

Under PACE financing, energy projects can be financed through a special property tax assessment. Since the loan has the security of a tax bill, banks are more willing to extend long-term loans for energy efficiency projects vs. a standard energy efficiency loan of 3 to 5 years. That allows the financing of energy efficiency projects with longer paybacks, meaning the projects are cash-flow positive from day one. The debt passes on to a new owner in the event of the sale of the property, just like a tax assessment.

“The PACE program gives building owners and businesses like ours an incredible opportunity to update old systems without dipping into operating funds,” says Bud Liebler, owner of The Whitney Restaurant. “You end up with an up-to-date and totally energy efficient property, and have the energy savings benefits while you’re paying back the loan. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Pictured in the photo above are GLREA executive committee members with Jim Newman of Newman Consulting Group. From left to right are Melanie McCoy, Newman, Dave Konkle, Mark Clevey and John Sarver.

Newman Consulting Group helps commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners all over the United States implement energy efficiency projects — including renewable energy such as solar, wind, geothermal — eliminate waste, and save money. More at

Since 1991, the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA) has been working to expand the use and generation of solar and wind energy through education and advocacy. More at

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