Energy Efficiency In Action At Small Businesses

Energy Efficiency In Action At Small Businesses

COVID-19 Response

The energy efficiency industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19. The Alliance’s proposals can help workers get back on the job quickly while addressing long-term recovery.

Energy Efficiency In Action At Small Businesses

For small business owners, profit margins are almost always tight, making any opportunity to reduce operational costs without cutting back on quality or service extremely valuable. This is particularly true since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which by some estimates led one-third of the nation's small businesses to shut down. The Main Street Efficiency Act of 2021 would fuel small business recovery by offering low- to no-cost energy efficiency upgrades to small businesses across the country. By reducing energy costs, which can be one of the top expenses for small business owners, these upgrades would free up funds for payroll or expanding operations. But the benefits go beyond dollar savings: the Main Street Efficiency Act would also enable small businesses to decarbonize their facilities – a goal that few small business owners have the money or time to address on their own – and create more comfortable spaces for customers.

To see these benefits in action, explore the stories below. Many of these examples demonstrate how utility-run programs help small business owners to afford energy efficiency upgrades. These programs would be doubled under the Main Street Efficiency Act – learn more about the legislation’s structure here, and why Congress must enact it into law.

Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, IL

Video courtesy of ComEd.  

The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program provides instant discounts, rebates, facility assessments, technical services and whole-building solutions to help customers reduce energy use.

Erthe Energy Solutions, Chicago, IL

Erthe Energy Solutions is woman-owned small business with more than 40 years of experience in the energy efficiency sector. CEO/Co-Founder Selena Worster Walde formerly managed the largest small business energy efficiency program in the nation, witnessing firsthand how energy efficiency upgrades revitalize small businesses. She recalls one contractor she worked with who came up to her after an event and thanked the program for helping keep their family-owned small business open during a time when many businesses were having to close. Selena says:

We realize the impact that small businesses have on the economic and environmental health of our communities. This is only one example of why we support helping small businesses across the country lower their carbon footprint, utility costs, and increasing the energy efficiency workforce opportunities through the Main Street Efficiency Act.

- Selena Worster Walde, CEO / Co-Founder, ERTHE Energy Solutions

Habitat for Humanity of Snohomish County, Smokey Point, WA

Read an op-ed by Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Snohomish County Steven Li on how energy efficiency upgrades at a Habitat store in Washington State helped keep costs manageable during the pandemic. 

J. Michael's Philly Deli, Wilmington, NC

Wilmington, N.C.

In an op-ed for the Wilmington Star News, J. Michael Hutson, the owner of J. Michael's Philly Deli in Wilmington, N.C., and Chief Strategy Officer of Willdan Adam Procell explain their "boots on the ground" vantage point to how energy efficiency upgrades can give back to small businesses and the community. 

Publyk House, Bennington, VT

Publyk House, Vermont

The Publyk House restaurant in Bennington, VT, serves more than 70,000 customers a year. But in an aging, drafty building, the owners were spending too much of their hard-earned revenue on energy costs. A case study from Efficiency Vermont is highlighted in an Alliance blog explaining how Publyk House cut its energy use by 50%. 

Scottish Rite Masons, Denver, CO

Energy Efficiency Denver

The Scottish Rite Masons of Denver, CO, meet in a downtown building built in the 1920’s. The steam traps for its boiler system hadn’t been replaced since the 1960’s, leading to low efficiency and high energy bills for Scottish Rite members. However, rebates and assistance offered by the local utility, Xcel Energy, made it possible for the steam traps to be replaced. Rebates reduced the original project cost of $7,780 by $4,500, or 58%. The Scottish Rites are now saving an estimated 4,100 therms in gas per year, meaning lower energy bills every month of the year. Read more and learn about Xcel Energy’s current small business offerings.

Sneaker Cleaners LLC, Chicago, IL

Video courtesy of ComEd. 

The ComEd Energy Efficiency Program provides instant discounts, rebates, facility assessments, technical services and whole-building solutions to help customers reduce energy use.

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