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Your Utility Can Help Lighten the Load

Wednesday, January 25, 2012  
Posted by: Matthew Boyle
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Did you know that the average American small business could save as much as $5,000 per year by becoming 25% more energy efficient? That’s what a study by the National Small Business Association discovered. It also found that if all small businesses made this effort, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 259 million tons -- or the equivalent of 51 coal-fired power plants.

But the upfront costs of acquiring more energy-efficient equipment can often be a hurdle for small businesses. If you’re a small business owner looking to cut costs and do your part for the environment, your local utility may have innovative energy-efficiency programs and varying incentives to help. For example, in San Diego County, where 95% of businesses are small businesses, San Diego Gas & Electric launched a no-cost program targeting small to mid-sized commercial customers in February 2011 (visit to find out what incentives apply for small businesses in your state).

While the program may go by different names elsewhere and have various levels of costs associated with it, a call to your local utility should get the ball rolling. For instance, in San Diego, more than 2,000 sites have acquired state-of-the-art energy-efficient equipment before the end of the program’s first year.  This includes the latest in energy-efficient lighting, refrigeration improvements, LED ‘open’ and ‘exit’ signs, vending misers and occupancy sensors.

Qualifying businesses get a free energy consultation provided by the utility’s contracted specialists. The contractors identify where less-efficient equipment can be replaced with more energy-efficient products to reduce your energy use, carbon footprint and electric bill – all at no cost to the business. And they’ll work with you to identify a convenient time for the equipment installation – during regular business hours or after-hours to minimize any disruption to your business.

To read more, visit here.

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