Green Business Program will provide One-Stop-Shopping for Energy Efficiency

April 8th, 2016

GreenUP is pleased to announce the re-launch of its Green Business Peterborough program. The Green Business program is a partnership between GreenUP, Peterborough Utilities Group, and the Chamber of Commerce. The focus of the program is to provide a one-stop-shop for information about energy efficiency services for Peterborough region businesses. Program staff are available to serve as applicant representatives for the PDI Save on Energy retrofit program, as well as provide resources and information about other energy incentive programs.

A new feature of the program will be a full energy audit service for business. A certified energy advisor will conduct a thorough review of every aspect of energy usage in the facility. A basic audit will evaluate lighting, electrical, mechanical, and HVAC energy usage and conduct a blower-door air leakage evaluation. The advisor will then generate a report that prioritizes energy conservation opportunities and outlines all the incentive programs for which the business may qualify.

“The landscape of energy efficiency incentives is constantly shifting,” says program coordinator Henry Bakker. “Programs come and go as funding parameters change, and it can be very time-consuming for small business operators to find the information they need and apply to the relevant programs. The goal of this program is to provide a continually up-to-date source of information on available incentive programs, and assist business owners in accessing the funds.”

“I’ve spoken to a lot of business owners, energy advisors, and engineers since I started in this position last fall. It quickly became clear to me that we have a lot of energy efficiency expertise in this region and a great opportunity to take advantage of it, but there was a gap in communicating the information efficiently to businesses. This program seeks to fill that gap.”

In addition to providing information on energy efficiency opportunities, the program website www.greenbusinesspeterborough.ca will provide an opportunity for sharing energy conservation success stories. Resources will be available for businesses to do a basic assessment of almost any aspect of their practice and identify areas in which they can make improvements.

“The idea is not to draw a line in the sand and say ‘this is a green business’ and ‘this isn’t a green business’” says Bakker. “That kind of rhetoric isn’t helpful. This program recognizes that every business is unique and exists on a spectrum between best and worst practices. Our goal is to meet every business operator where they are and empower and encourage them to take the next step towards more sustainable practices. At the same time we want to recognize and celebrate those businesses in our region who are leaders in this area.”

While the focus of the program is on small business, program staff can also provide support for larger facilities. In the case of larger facilities with more complex energy usage profiles, the program can draw on the experience of engineers who specialize in building envelope systems and energy usage.

Another goal of the program will be to identify infrastructure gaps in the community and identify strategies to fill those gaps, making it easier for everyone to make good choices.

“One gap we noticed is the ability to dispose of fluorescent bulbs efficiently,” says Bakker. “It’s an important component of PDI’s retrofit program that old bulbs be decommissioned appropriately. Signarama has a bulb-eater and can provide this service, but that is the only one I know of in the city. We’re working with PDI to find out how we can make this service more widely available. The old bulbs go out of circulation, the hazardous materials are disposed of safely, and businesses can fulfill the requirements of their retrofit application at a reduced cost. Everyone wins.”

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in the delivery of energy efficiency services,” says Bakker. “I feel like we’ve reached a tipping point. Business owners and facility operators get it. An opportunity to improve energy conservation is an opportunity to improve the bottom line.”

For more information on how to take advantage of the Green Business Peterborough program visit the website at www.greenbusinesspeterborough.ca, or contact the program coordinator, Henry Bakker at henry.bakker@www.greenup.on.ca or 705 745 3238 x207.

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