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ST. PAUL — Last winter, the furnace at Golden Lion Antiques in East St. Paul’s Payne Avenue business district started cracking and water eventually leaked onto the store’s basement floor.
Repair costs were estimated to reach $3,000, so owner Ralph Kromarek decided he needed to shop around for a new furnace. He discovered it would cost about $5,000 for a new, standard hot-water furnace and nearly $9,000 for a new energy-efficient furnace. Kromarek called the Payne Avenue Business Association, which recommended he work with Energy Smart to evaluate his options and discuss financial incentives. Energy Smart did an on-site consultation at Golden Lion and directed him to several financial incentives available if he went with the energy-efficient unit.
Partnering with the East Side Neighborhood Development Company, Energy Smart helped Kromarek qualify for a $2,000 forgivable loan from ESNDC. Energy Smart also pointed him to a $100 rebate from Xcel Energy and a potential federal tax deduction for commercial building owners.
In October, Kromarek bought a 95-percent efficient Energy Star-qualified hot-water furnace to replace his 75-percent efficient one. The new furnace cost him $5,900 including installation after the forgivable loan and Xcel Energy rebate. He still expects to receive a federal tax deduction, which could bring his out-of-pocket costs to under $5,000 – less than the cost of a standard-efficiency furnace.
The new wall-mounted furnace, Kromarek says, takes up less space than his old furnace and also requires far less maintenance. He says Energy Smart made it easy for him to pursue the incentives. “They made it much more appealing for me to get an energy-efficient model,” he adds.
CALEDONIA — Congratulations to Caledonia Care & Rehab! In July, the southwestern Minnesota rehab center was awarded a $83,872 matching grant from the state to make several energy efficiency improvements, including upgrading its lights and electrical system and installing new building temperature controls. Energy Smart notified the center in late 2009 about the grant opportunity, after working closely with its facilities manager to identify energy-saving opportunities and funding opportunities. The grant, awarded by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security, was made possible by federal stimulus funding given to the state to help businesses and organizations reduce their energy use.
If you’d like notification of new funding opportunities available to your business, contact Energy Smart at (651) 292-4652.
Energy Smart recently began a Community Focus initiative in the Twin Cities northern suburbs. Letters introducing Energy Smart’s no-cost services were sent to many businesses in Columbia Heights, Fridley, Roseville and surrounding areas and follow-up contacts made. So far, Energy Smart has scheduled more than 30 on-site business consultations to help businesses in the area identify energy-saving opportunities and get connected to Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy rebates available to them.
Know a North Metro business that needs some energy-efficiency assistance? Contact Energy Smart at (651) 292-4652 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more news about Energy Smart and the success of Minnesota businesses, visit our news coverage page.
© Copyright 2019 Minnesota Energy Smart. All rights reserved. Energy Smart is an energy efficiency consulting program which works in close partnership with the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation, a 510(c)3 nonprofit, and Connexus Energy. Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation is an affiliate of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.