Bottom Line “Green” Strategies for Businesses

19 Sep

Everyday business owners and managers are meeting to discuss operating expenses and profits. But how often do you see “Green Strategies” as a line item on the agenda? Not often enough but more often now than in the past for a good reason; green business strategies increase profitability.

When a business implements green strategies they reduce waste, increase efficiency and lower their operating costs. Not only do you help improve the environment, you profit by doing so. Where do you start?

There are a significant amount of resources available from organizations, companies and government agencies.

Industrial Technologies Program (ITP): Leads national efforts to improve industrial energy efficiency and environmental performance. ITP is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and contributes to its efforts by partnering with U.S. industry in a coordinated program of research and development, validation, and dissemination of energy efficiency technologies and operating practices. There is a wealth of information available on their website including additional details concerning the Industrial Assessment Centers (more info below).

Industrial Assessment Centers: The Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), sponsored by EERE’s Industrial Technologies Program, provide eligible small- and medium-sized manufacturers with no-cost energy assessments. Additionally, the IACs serve as a training ground for the next-generation of energy savvy engineers. Manufacturers can request an energy audit from IACS. A team of energy specialists will visit your facility, perform an energy audit and help you identify projects that conserve energy and reduce waste.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I have conducted dozens of environmental audits in North Carolina. The state does a fabulous job providing information to businesses, consultants and the public. If you can’t find what you need on their website, give them a call – they are very helpful.

Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program: Partnership of environmental agencies, utilities and nonprofit organizations that assist, recognize and promote businesses and government agencies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. To be certified “green,” participants must be in compliance with all regulations and meet program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste; all of which result in lowering costs and increasing profits. The program was initially developed by local governments in the San Francisco Bay Area in collaboration with US EPA, Cal EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control and the business community. Although the program is focused on the Northern California area, they offer a variety of business resources you can use to reduce waste including “Green Business Checklists” such as the following for:

Buying Green Power in Your State – Green Power Network: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and related activities. This site provides state-by-state information on Green Power Marketing in Competitive Electricity Markets and Utility Green Pricing Programs. In addition, the site lists marketers of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) (also known as green tags or tradable renewable certificates), which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from a renewable energy project. Whether or not consumers have access to green power through their local utility or a competitive electricity marketer, consumers can purchase RECs without having to switch electricity suppliers.

Wind Powering America: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state wind project information, including validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, legislative briefings, wind working groups, and state-specific news.

Profitable Green Solutions: More and more focus is being placed on total carbon emissions; your carbon “footprint” so to speak. First, you must accurately measure your carbon emissions using global standards. There are numerous ways to measure and subsequently reduce carbon emissions that result in cost-savings. Profitable Green Solutions, a private consulting firm, solicites new business by offering free carbon audits.

ACEEE Champion of Energy Efficiency Awards

20 Aug

Oil Obit News: ACEEE PR/Washington, D.C.—Pacific Grove, California (August 20, 2008): The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) presented four Champion of Energy Efficiency Awards at its biennial conference, the Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. These awards recognize leadership and accomplishment in the energy efficiency field. Winners are selected based on demonstrated excellence in program implementation, research and development, energy policy, or private sector initiatives. The winners for 2008 are:

Philips for leading the way toward replacement of conventional incandescent lamps in the U.S. market. Philips initiated efforts to set incandescent lamp efficiency standards in the U.S. and played a pivotal role in working with the rest of the lighting industry, energy efficiency advocates, and Congress to negotiate the lamp standard provision that was enacted as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This provision promises to be one of the most important energy efficiency appliance standards enacted in the past quarter century based on ACEEE’s analysis.

Dian Grueneich
for outstanding career-long leadership in the energy efficiency field, and innovation in utility regulation. Ms. Grueneich played an important role as a leader in the movement for energy efficiency policies and regulations in California. For the past three years, she has served on the California Public Utilities Commission overseeing the implementation of some of the most aggressive and successful utility energy efficiency programs in the world. She has played a major role in helping to develop incentives that reward utilities for meeting energy-saving goals, pushing for good evaluation to document program savings, and advocating for strong energy efficiency efforts as part of California’s climate change action plans.

ENE (Environment Northeast) for shepherding policies that engage stakeholders, substantially increase energy efficiency investments, and institutionalize support for energy efficiency throughout New England. Environment Northeast has played a pivotal role for over a decade in advocating for energy efficiency policies and regulations in New England, including an important role in seeking the inclusion of energy efficiency in the plans for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) agreement.

Austin Energy, Roger Duncan, General Manager,
for decades of leadership in energy efficiency and sustainable energy policies and programs that serve as models for utility innovation. Over the past two decades, Austin Energy has played a leadership role in delivering efficiency and sustainable energy programs to their customers. During this time, Mr. Duncan has advocated for and overseen the implementation of these efforts, recently assuming the role of general manager. Austin Energy and Mr. Duncan have not been content to just serve their customers’ needs, but have advocated for sustainable energy policies nationally within both the public power community and in the broader utility community as well.

These winners were nominated by their peers, and selected by a committee of ACEEE’s Board of Directors from an impressive pool of more than 75 nominations. Selection criteria were based on each nominee’s impact, innovation, and leadership in the energy efficiency field.