Experienced contractor

7 Financial Benefits of Using a Contractor with an Energy Efficiency Project

By Megan Porter

If you run a small to medium-sized business and are contemplating an energy efficiency project, concerns about upfront costs may have you thinking about going it alone rather than hiring an experienced contractor. The fact is, working with licensed contractors on energy efficiency projects can help your business become greener and save you some green at the same time.

An experienced contractor’s technical expertise and experience in implementing energy efficiency projects is more likely to result in getting it right the first time, which will help you avoid the added costs of redressing aspects of the project resulting from miscalculations. Contractors can take the “sticker shock” out of the decision to go ahead with a project because of their expertise in the financing options as well as the rebates and incentives available from ENERGY STAR in addition to utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).1

Contractors who are part of PG&E’s Trade Professional Alliance can help you decide whether a repair, upgrade, retrofit or complete replacement is appropriate for the project in question. They have industry and product knowledge, troubleshooting experience and an understanding of the most convenient funding options for businesses throughout California, including financing options from third parties.2

Here are seven financial benefits that working with an experienced contractor brings to the table when California businesses are embarking on an energy efficiency project.3

  1. Skill set: The technical skills that contractors possess help ensure that energy efficiency upgrades like lighting or HVAC retrofits are installed correctly, which is essential to optimizing cost and energy saving benefits. They are also experts when it comes to repairs and maintenance recommendations.
  2. Product knowledge: Just as important as proper installation is proper equipment selection. Experienced contractors have the knowledge to assess which type of equipment will work best for your business. They know about all of the latest products, including lighting and temperature controls and sensors, and which ones will best fit each type of business. For example, they can help navigate through the many energy efficient lighting and HVAC products that are ENERGY STAR-certified and determine which options are appropriate for restaurants, manufacturers, schools, public buildings and other settings.
  3. Rebates and incentives: Navigating through the wide variety of rebates and incentives available to California businesses can be an overwhelming task. A qualified contractor can cut through the clutter and find the ones that apply specifically to each scope of your project. Trade Professional Alliance contractors are well versed in these rebates and incentives and can help businesses find the ones that apply specifically to each scope of their project.
  4. Sustainability savvy: Contractors can advise businesses on a variety of areas where they can go greener. For example, nearly 70% of the light sockets in the U.S. are still equipped with inefficient bulbs. Lighting contractors recommend replacing older light bulbs with more efficient products, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which can significantly lower carbon emissions.
  5. Building codes and requirements: Contractors are required to stay on top of numerous regulations that businesses must comply with, from California’s Title 24 energy code standards to federal guidelines that are being instituted to mandate more energy efficient commercial buildings. As a result, they can better explain to businesses how these regulations affect them and specifically impact any of their buildings or on-site areas.
  6. Quality maintenance planning: To get the most savings out of an energy efficiency project, it is essential to have a long-term quality maintenance plan in place once the installation is complete. An experienced contractor can outline better strategies for your business and employees that can be used on a daily basis for maximum efficiency.
  7. Financing options: Contractors can help serve as a conduit between your business’s needs and its financing options. They have first-hand knowledge of the financing options available, including zero-percent interest loans from PG&E’s On-Bill Financing program, as well as the rebates and incentives that can help offset upfront costs.

To learn more about how a contractor can help your business achieve the best results with an energy efficiency project, download "The Complete Guide to Working with a Lighting or HVAC Contractor" eBook from PG&E.


Sources:
  1. ENERGY STAR
  2. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  3. Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Learn how you can benefit financially by working with a contractor on energy efficiency projects:
  • 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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