Boost Bottom Line Through Energy Efficiency

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Rich_SteevesThe week of May 20-26 is National Small Business Week — a week to honor small-business owners ""> generic and a time to recognize the impact made by these outstanding owners and operators.

To be a leader in the small-business community, implementing energy-efficiency best practices has to be top of mind in your operations. As business owners who rely on energy to provide your services, itÂ’s also your responsibility to ensure that youÂ’re doing your part to help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In turn, the payout is not only a benefit to everyone, but it also helps with your bottom line by reducing energy expenses.

If you’re a small-business owner looking to begin your “go green” journey, you may be wondering where to start. Understanding how you are spending money when it comes to energy usage should come first; next, educating yourself on energy-efficiency "/files//#visit_us">visit us available in Connecticut is essential.

The price of energy doesnÂ’t come for free, but there is good news, and one of the places you can look for help is the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. The immediate benefit to you will be lower utility bills. Through the fund, your utility company administers multiple programs and has access to energy efficient technologies for your business with zero-percent interest on-bill financing to help you ""> generic the associated cost of making improvements.

Beginning the Boost

As a small-business owner, the key areas of your business that you should evaluate are lighting, refrigeration controls, and heating and cooling systems. Though there are changes that you can make in your business, itÂ’s important to know that expert assistance, along with the financial incentives, are available beyond these changes to help you achieve the greatest savings.

For lighting, consider installing occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting when no one is present, and back on when they return. Using sensors in rooms with high traffic can reduce costs of up to 40 percent. When it comes to heating and air conditioning, a programmable thermostat can optimize your HVAC operation. Instead of heating or cooling all night, this thermostat can turn on the HVAC one hour before you arrive based on your daily needs.

Lastly, if refrigeration is applicable to your business operations, check the door seals on the refrigerator because a broken seal can waste as much energy as leaving the door open. To test it, close the door on a single sheet of paper, and try to pull it out. If it slides out easily, the seals need to be replaced to prevent cold air from leaking out, or you may have to consider buying a new unit.

Experience the ‘Advantage’

The final and perhaps the most important step is to seek expert advice from the Energy Efficiency Fund. We will perform a comprehensive energy assessment where a qualified contractor will thoroughly evaluate your facility. Afterward, we will recommend the various types of energy-saving actions to take that cater to the needs of your company.

Generally for a small business, the Small Business Energy Advantage program is a wise solution for lowering energy costs. This program offers financial incentives to business owners who install energy-efficient solutions in their business including energy-efficient lighting, refrigeration controls, occupancy sensors, timers, hot water controls and more. " _online" online example, the restaurant business is booming in the New Haven area, so it is valuable to know that there are specific rebates available for restaurant equipment through this program.

What Are You Waiting For?

Now is the time to take the steps to make your business more energy efficient.  This sets an example not only for our own residents to do the > but for the rest of the country. Hundreds of Connecticut companies have already taken advantage of the available programs to help become more energy efficient and are reaping the rewards. The question is: Has your business?


Richard W. Steeves is first vice chairperson of the Energy Efficiency Board.


Should Connecticut Give Special Incentives to Individual Companies?

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