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Date ArticleType
9/5/2017 Chamber News
Businesses Can Reduce Energy Usage and Save Money

It’s no secret that energy costs can be significant for businesses of all types.  According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, nearly three-quarters of the electric energy efficiency potential in New York State resides in the business and industry sector. Energy efficiency can play an important role in helping you meet your businesses strategic goals.  Whether your business is retail, an office setting, or a manufacturer, there may be ways to help reduce your energy costs, even if you don’t own your own building.  Obviously, climate and energy usage go hand-in-glove.  In Chautauqua County, winters require heat and summers require air conditioning, creating a year-round expense for homeowners and businesses alike. 

Chautauqua County is moving to become a member of EnergizeNY.  EnergizeNY can leverage PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing to help commercial and non-profit property owners with energy improvements, including efficiency projects and renewable energy measures for commercial, light industrial, multi-family, and nonprofit-owned buildings.

The first step towards reducing energy bills is an energy audit through a certified NYSERDA professional.  One of those companies is Chamber member, Superior Energy Innovations, in Jamestown.  While this can cost some money upfront, New York State also has a program in place now that will pay between 50 to 100 percent of the cost of the audit.  The program encourages business tenants, landlords, and their energy consultants to work collaboratively to enhance the overall energy and environmental performance of commercial office buildings statewide.  It provides funding to reduce the costs of obtaining an actionable list of energy efficiency measures and corresponding financial analysis.

The next steps toward lowering your bills and increasing occupancy comfort are implementing the efficiency recommendations.  This too, can require upfront costs. The Chautauqua County Legislative subcommittee on Energy, Chaired by Mark Odell, has been working toward addressing this issue and this summer the legislature approved the County moving forward to seek approval as a PACE financing-eligible jurisdiction. One the County is fully authorized energy efficiency upgrades can be 100 percent financed through EnergizeNY.  The costs are amortized for up to twenty years and repaid through your property tax bill or a special taxing account. 

NYSERDA’s Commercial Tenant Program works to integrate energy efficiency in commercial office spaces through a collaboration between tenants, landlords, and their consultants.  The program provides funding to reduce costs for both commercial tenants and landlords, when both parties pay into the process. 

Companies can begin the process now and start an application, with the work to be finalized once the program gets underway in Chautauqua County.  The Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier encourage all companies to take advantage of energy-saving measures as they become available, to help both our environment and your bottom line.

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