Lowering Energy Costs And Growing Small Businesses

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A recent report by the Center for an Urban Future highlighted the difficulty of small business in reducing energy costs.  The report states:

At a time when small businesses need all the help they can get, one big opportunity to reduce costs has gone mostly ignored: becoming more energy efficient.  Significant savings – up to thousands of dollars a year for even the smallest firms have been left on the table.

Businesses across the five boroughs now pay more for electricity than firms anywhere in the U.S. outside of Hawaii.  Recent surveys find small firms citing high electricity bills as one of the three greatest obstacles to doing business in New York.  Taking steps to make their operations more energy efficient – from upgrading their lighting systems to retrofitting the HVAC system and adding extra insulation – quickly pay for themselves and then some.

But despite the prospect of substantially reducing their monthly expenses, only a fraction of the city’s small businesses have taken steps to make their operations more energy efficient.  The city and state offer a number of energy conservation programs targeted at small businesses, but as we detail in this report, shockingly few firms in the five boroughs have taken advantage of them.

Through a joint initiative with Con Edison and National Grid I am working to educate small businesses owners to immediate cost savings programs that will help reduce their energy costs.  By helping small business lower energy costs we are helping our local small businesses grow; creating more local jobs. 

I will be hosting several evens throughout the district for small businesses owners to learn about these programs.  A representative from Con Edison and National Grid will be on hand to help business owners with the paper work and answer any questions.
The events will be held on:
Thursday May 6th 7PM - 9PM
St Mary Gate of Heaven
104-06 101st Avenue in Ozone Park
May 13th 7PM – 9PM
Glendale Memorial
72-02 Myrtle Avenue in Glendale
Con Edison offers a program called The Power of Green - Save Money, Save Energy, and Help the Environment.  This program offers businesses with an average monthly peak demand of less than 100kw free energy surveys; free energy conservation measures, such as CFL's (compact fluorescents) and water heater thermostats; and incentives up to 70% of installed cost for major heating, cooling, and lighting upgrades.
An example of the costs savings through this program is:
Installed Value (Material and Labor)       $337.88
SBDI Pays                                                    $247.21
Customer Pays                                            $90.67
Annual kWh Savings                                   1,909
Annual Lighting Cost Savings                   $286.42
Payback                                                        4 months
National Grid offers ways to reduce energy consumption through the company’s Three Percent  Less campaign, www.powerofaction.com/efficiency.  Using less is all about getting in the habit of making smart energy choices. National Grid’s efficiency programs help businesses improve performance and contribute to a greener environment. Combining the latest natural gas technologies with the most efficient energy resources, National Grid provides a variety of innovative options for businesses seeking to reduce operating costs and enhance the bottom line. Additionally, updating old, inefficient heating equipment with clean, high-efficiency gas equipment will allow businesses to enjoy the cost savings of a cleaner and more reliable fuel that will help businesses gain up to 30 percent efficiency, take advantage of customized rebates and incentives as well as low-cost financing options through participating contractors.

Small businesses were simply not taking advantage of these great opportunities to drastically reduce their energy costs.  Through this joint initiative we will work with our local Chamber of Commerce, Business Improvement Districts, and small business owners to increase the communities awareness of these programs, help businesses take advantage of these programs and save money.

Here's what people are saying:

"We’re delighted that Senator Addabbo is taking the lead on an issue of such great importance to local small businesses,” says David Giles, research associate for the think tank Center for an Urban Future and author the Center’s February 2010 report Energizing New York’s Small Business. “Small businesses in Eastern Queens and throughout New York City have so much to gain from becoming energy efficient. Small firms here pay double the costs for electricity than the national average, and prices will only continue to rise in the years ahead. But while even the smallest firms could save thousands of dollars by implementing efficiency measures, shockingly few small firms in the five boroughs have taken advantage of them. Clearly, more needs to be done to make it easier, and more cost-effective, for small businesses to participate in energy efficiency programs.”

“The Myrtle Avenue BID and Ridgewood Local Development Corporation thank Senator Addabbo for hosting this event to highlight Consolidated Edison small business energy efficiency program. We are already working with Con Edison, Willdan and FCI in getting the word out within the Myrtle Avenue BID about this program. To date we have over 30 businesses that have expressed interest. We will continue to get the word out. We also want to acknowledge National Grid for supporting the Ridgewood LDC over the years” said Theodore M. Renz, Executive Director of the Myrtle Avenue BID and Ridgewood LDC.

“I am very excited to take advantage of these new cost savings that Con Ed has helped me realize. In these tough times it’s great to find any ways to save money.” said Fred Vaynman owner of Delta Signs and Flag.

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