Governor Recognizes Dennis Schultz for Reducing Energy Waste

LANSING – Dennis Schultz with Terra Caloric was among eight organizations and individuals that received the Governor’s Energy Excellence Award for their successful efforts to reduce energy waste. The award winners were announced by Gov. Rick Snyder and honored at a ceremony at Michigan State University in East Lansing on August 11.

Mr. Schultz was selected as Innovator of the Year for designing a geothermal heat pump that could extract enough energy from just two gallons of water to offset most homes’ fossil fuel consumption. These pumps were installed in 26 Michigan homes in 2015, reducing average annualized propane use by 23,400 gallons. The pump can be installed in one day at a quarter of the cost of traditional systems.

“Reducing energy waste will be a critically important part of an energy policy that will preserve Michigan’s comeback and protect our wonderful natural resources for decades to come,” said the governor. “The individuals and organizations honored today should be proud of their innovative efforts, and I encourage all Michiganders to take the necessary steps to be more energy efficient.”

The Innovator of the Year award is presented each year to a person, organization, program, company, or product that drives innovation and significant progress in Michigan’s energy- efficiency industry. The finalists in the category this year were John Slagter of Grand Rapids and Venntis Technologies of Holland. Honorable Mention went to Nextek Power Systems of Detroit.

Following is a comprehensive list of the other 2016 honorees by category.

Best Projects – Commercial (Private) 

Winner: Odawa Casino Resort, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Petoskey Finalist: Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, L’Anse
Finalist: Visteon Corporation, Van Buren Township
Honorable Mention: PK Housing and Management, Okemos

Best Projects – Public

Winner: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
Finalist: East Jackson Community Schools, Jackson
Finalist: Parchment School District, Parchment
Honorable Mention: Michigan State University, East Lansing

Best Projects – Residential

Winner: Michael Eick, Clinton Township Finalist: Matthew Grocoff, Ann Arbor
Finalist: Peter McWethy, Kalamazoo Honorable Mention: Whitney Jonas, Kalamazoo

Best Projects – Industrial/Manufacturing

Winner: Cargill Salt, St. Clair
Finalist: Graphic Packaging International, Battle Creek

Best Projects – Agriculture

Winner: Weiss Centennial Farms, Frankenmuth
Finalist: GDW Farms, Holland
Finalist: Miller Family Farm, Carney
Honorable Mention: Coveyou Scenic Farm Market, Petoskey

Contractor of the Year

Winner: Oscar W. Larson Company, Clarkston
Finalist: Bel-Aire Heating and Air Conditioning, Portage
Finalist: Performance Engineering Group, Livonia
Honorable Mention: Randazzo Mechanical Heating and Cooling, Macomb

Best Communication or Education Program

Winner: Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Grand Rapids
Finalist: City of Holland, Holland
Finalist: Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs, Muskegon Honorable Mention: Michigan Farm Energy Program, East Lansing

The Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards recognize Michigan organizations and individuals for their commitment to responsible energy consumption. The awards are supported, in part, by a grant from the Michigan Energy Office (MEO) with funding from U.S. Department of Energy Award #DE-EE0006226. (The MEO is a federally designated state agency within the Michigan Agency for Energy). Other event sponsors include CLEAResult, Consumers Energy, DNV-GL, 

DTE Energy, SEMCO Energy Gas Company, Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics, and The Dow Chemical Company. For more information, please visit


Finalist photos and project descriptions

Justin Schnettler