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The East Side Neighborhood Development Company (ESNDC) in St. Paulrecently received a 2012 Sustainable St.Paul Award for Environmental Education and Awareness. The organization is being recognized for its work on commercial energy efficiency along Payne Avenuein St. Paul, achieved in partnership with Energy Smart.
Because increased efficiency improves business competitiveness, an ESNDC board member suggested collaborating with Energy Smart to bring conservation information and services to companies in East St. Paul. Early in 2010, 20 local businesses were identified to receive an Energy Smart on-site consultation and expert guidance about steps they could take to reduce energy use.
Eleven upgrades have since been completed along the ESNDC commercial corridor, including three upgrades of HVAC systems that were very inefficient and costly. “Energy Smart was instrumental in helping us engage our businesses and provide them no-cost energy efficiency service,” says Anne Briseno, director of commercial development. “They even helped one of our businesses achieve the ENERGY STAR rating for their building—a first for our neighborhood.”
When businesses in a community engage together to reduce energy use, a new standard often emerges that embraces energy efficiency as a business norm. Companies may also increase investments in the community through additional networking and commerce with neighbor businesses.
In addition, ESNDC has been able to further support the local community by distributing more than $90,000 from its Business Investment Funds to help finance upgrades. Community development groups such as ESNDC that serve economically stressed areas like Payne Avenue often have difficulty distributing such funds. This financing significantly reduced, and in some cases eliminated, the end cost for participating businesses.
Energy Smart seeks more opportunities to strengthen local business communities through greater energy efficiency and to guide energy upgrade projects that qualify for Business Investment Funds and nurture local economies.
Would you like to initiate an energy project with your local economic development group? Contact Sam Friesen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)292-4652.
If your business is a Minnesota Power electric customer, now may be the time upgrade to LED lighting! Through August 31, the utility is offering several bonus incentives for LED lighting including:
These bonus incentives are in addition to the base incentive of $200/kW saved through the PowerGrant program. All projects must be preapproved by Minnesota Power. (Tell them Energy Smart sent you by checking the Energy Smart box under contractor referral toward the bottom of the form.)
If you’d like to explore an LED lighting upgrade for a business located in the Minnesota Power service area, click on the image above to complete a preapplication, or contact Energy Smart for further guidance.
Compressed air is NOT free. In fact, it is one of the most expensive sources of energy, yet it is routinely ignored at most businesses. A leak as small as 1/16 of an inch in a compressed air tool or motor system, for example, can increase energy costs by as much as $500 a month.
Many of today’s compressed air systems are unbalanced and inefficient, and pieced together over time. In fact, research shows that only half of the compressed air that is paid for is used, while the rest escapes through leaks; inappropriate usage such as cleaning a work surface or personal cooling is also a factor in air waste.
Many utilities offer funding assistance for compressed air studies and upgrades. Xcel Energy, for instance, has just added a study funding tier for systems less than 50hp. Larger systems also may qualify for compressed air study funding.
If you’d like to explore options for a compressed air study at your business, please contact Sam Friesen at email@example.com or (651)292-4652.
© Copyright 2018 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.