• Where do I start?
     | December 04,2012

    A lot of people who write in to you seem to already have ideas on what they need to do. What would you say to a small business owner who wants to save energy (and save money too), but isn’t sure where to start?

    — HJ, Grand Isle County

    Dan: You know, I really like your question. It’s true that a lot of folks already have ideas on where to begin, and it’s fun for us to talk about technology; but the truth is this column isn’t meant to be about specific equipment — it’s about helping businesses find opportunities to reduce energy use, no matter what their situation.

    Paul: That’s right. And no matter what the question, you’ll notice some common themes in our answers: Give us a call. Visit our Web site. Talk to us before you launch into your project. These are all great steps, because those are the ways in which we’re going to help identify your specific needs, and help you choose a path that truly suits you.

    Dan: In your case, I’d recommend starting with a call to our customer support specialists at www.efficiencyvermont.com/about_us/contact_efficiency_vermont.aspx. They’ll ask you some questions about your building set-up, equipment, and the ways in which your business uses them. They’ll also get a sense of your budget, and what your particular goals are — whether it’s all about saving money now, or if it’s part of a longer-term business strategy.

    Paul: From there, they’ll be able to get you started on a plan that’s customized to you and your business needs. They can even provide an estimate of energy savings you’re likely to see, so you’ll know how to plan for the improvements you choose. When you receive contractor quotes, we can also provide a cash flow analysis.

    Dan: And right now, in addition to our existing support, there’s a special opportunity sponsored by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility called Business Energy Action (BEA) at www.efficiencyvermont.com/BusinessEnergyAction.aspx. Enrollees of this three-year program will get help setting a specific energy savings goal and tracking their progress with saving energy, plus receive public recognition for their efforts..

    Paul: Whether you choose to enroll in BEA or not, I hope you’ll give us a call, because there’s almost always some way we can help. You can reach us at 888.921.5990; or if you prefer, begin with an online search at http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/for_my_business.aspx. And, thanks for a great question. I’m sure a lot of other business owners have wondered the same thing.

    Learn more: Do you have a project in mind or a question about energy usage in your business? Visit us online at www.efficiencyvermont.com.

    About Efficiency Vermont: Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont’s environment. For more information, call 888.921.5990, toll-free, or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com.

    The columnists are business energy experts Paul Lambert and Dan Mellinger. v

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