September 23, 2014

Myth #6: Energy efficiency funding is ripe for the picking

Myth #6: Energy efficiency funding is ripe for the picking

In 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus package loaded with green energy provisions. Though the package was a huge step in the right direction, a significant portion of the programs were aimed at helping larger organizations and municipals make the switch to green energy. In doing so, it left out an important segment in our economy—small businesses.

Ninety seven percent of America’s building stock is in businesses with 12,500 square feet or less. Yet small businesses are virtually on their own when it comes to finding funding for energy-efficiency upgrades.

In an economy with so many small businesses struggling just to keep their doors open, many business owners simply don’t have the resources to make the upgrades without outside funding.

Without any federal funding in place to help this sector, some states and cities are taking charge and developing options of their own.

In California, the utilities are required to offer a program called on-bill financing, which allows consumers and businesses to borrow against their utilities to fund energy-efficient technology. Unfortunately, other states haven’t been as successful in passing the measure. (We’ve tried passing a similar bill twice in Colorado with no luck.)

But, other innovative programs are popping up. For example, a new program being offered by the Denver Energy Challenge and a local credit union provides low-interest energy loans for residents and businesses making energy improvements within the city and county of Denver. Participants work with a energy advisor (at no cost) to determine what home or business improvements are needed and if a low-interest energy loan is the right option for them.

It’s these types of local programs that will be critical in helping one of the largest sectors of our economy curb its collective energy use until the federal government puts more resources in place for small businesses.

If you’re a large or small business looking for ways to significantly reduce your cooling costs, decrease your carbon footprint and improve the quality of your indoor air, check us out. Our air conditioners often pay for themselves in just two years. When you’re ready to make the switch, we’ll be here.