Energy efficiency resources

6 Free Energy Resources Any Business Owner Can Use

By Megan Porter

Owners of small businesses and startup companies need to be extremely efficient with limited financial resources. But chances are many are overpaying in some way for energy, whether because they’re relying on outdated technologies or not practicing simple, effective, energy-saving habits.

So how can debt-averse small business owners find ways to make sure they’re operating efficiently?

Below you’ll find six resources that can help business owners save thousands of dollars in energy costs. It’s like having a number of knowledgeable consultants working for you — for free. And what could be more cost effective than that?

  1. ENERGY STAR — ENERGY STAR was established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 under the authority of the Clean Air Act to help businesses and individuals save money and protect the climate through superior energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR website is a valuable storehouse of information for owners of businesses of all sizes, and for facility managers of buildings old and new. It includes checklists, calculators and more to help business owners identify potential energy savings opportunities and ways to capitalize on them.
  2. California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) — Part of the University of California Davis, the CLTC is a not-for-profit research laboratory dedicated to accelerating the development and commercialization of next-generation, energy efficient lighting and daylighting technologies. Of particular interest to business owners are the CLTC’s spec sheets and reports that demonstrate how much money can be saved by using higher efficiency lighting options, such as light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures rather than traditional fluorescent lighting.
  3. Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) — Food service is among the most energy intensive industries. The FSTC is a comprehensive resource providing business owners in food service with a wealth of tools that will help them operate more efficiently. You’ll find performance-tested data on how much you can save by switching to more efficient dishwashers, ovens, ventilation equipment, refrigerators and more. Plus, the site features information on choosing the most appropriate appliances for your needs and how to take advantage of a variety of rebates that make upgrading more affordable.
  4. PG&E’s Business Energy Checkup — This online self-assessment tool helps you track your energy use and compare it to that of similar businesses. You’ll also get highly customized energy saving recommendations and be able to create your own energy savings plan to meet short-and long-term goals.
  5. PG&E’s Business Resource Center — Not sure where to start in your energy efficiency initiative? PG&E’s Business Resource Center provides an overview of topics that can serve as a jumping-off point. You’ll find information on energy efficiency financing, how much you can save by upgrading HVAC equipment or appliances, even how to start a sustainability competition at your business.
  6. California Energy Incentive Programs page — A wide variety of public-purpose energy efficiency programs are administered by California’s investor-owned utilities. California small business owners can find ways to get financial assistance, including multiple incentive programs, rebates for equipment and retrofits, and free energy use audits.

Energy efficiency benefits everyone: business owners through reduced costs, improved system performance and reduced maintenance, and California residents through reduced emissions and a cleaner environment. That’s why we encourage you to make the most of all of these energy efficiency resources. They’re in-depth, they’re effective, and best of all, they’re free!

Looking for additional, cost-effective savings? Download the eBook, “25 Money-Saving Tips for Businesses” to identify new ways to reduce costs and see a high return on investment.


  2. California Lighting Technology Center
  3. Food Service Technology Center
  4. PG&E Business Energy Checkup
  5. PG&E Business Resource Center
  6. California Energy Incentive Program

6 Free Energy Resources Any Business Owner Can Use
  • SMB Blog Author
    Megan Porter
    Senior Program Marketing Manager at PG&E, is a recognized leader in solutions marketing for small and medium-sized businesses. Megan uses her proven and practical expertise to bring energy efficiency education to businesses in every industry. In this vital role, she develops and oversees highly successful initiatives that result in the adoption of more efficient long-term energy management behaviors.

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