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4 Incentives for business owners to embrace energy-efficient products
If you’re a small- to medium-business owner, it's tempting to put off energy-efficient product upgrades for the daily tasks your business requires. These 4 incentives make energy-efficient solutions attainable for small- and medium-sized businesses and include energy-efficiency budgeting for cash positive effects from day one.
1. Free Access to Reliable Data and Advice
It’s important to understand what is making up the largest portion of your energy bill so that you can make informed decisions about which incentives to pursue. In as little as 7 minutes, you can fill out an online energy audit using the Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Business Energy Checkup tool and get a snapshot of your current energy usage. This snapshot will provide you with short-term energy-saving solutions as well as detailed suggestions for energy-efficient investments. Just log into your online PG&E account and click the Business Energy Checkup link to get started.
2. Energy-Efficient Product Rebates
Once you have a good idea about where you could be saving money on your energy bill, consider the wide range of rebates for energy efficiency offered by PG&E. These can help reduce the upfront cost of many energy-intensive pieces of equipment used by your business. PG&E has substantial incentives for all types of businesses including agricultural, culinary and office retailers. Nearly every small- to medium-sized business can further benefit from incentives for more universal energy-efficient technology that apply to light emitting diode (LED) lighting, water heating and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
3. Upgrade with Interest-Free Financing
With PG&E’s 0% interest energy-efficiency financing, your business can be cash positive as soon as new equipment is installed. Qualifying for energy-efficiency financing is based on your PG&E bill payment history over the last 12 months. Once you are approved, each property that your business occupies is eligible for loans of up to $100,000 ($5,000 minimum). These loans are tuned to your projected energy savings.
4. Programs that Pay to Generate Energy
If you’re still hungry for savings or just want more control over your energy, there are even more incentives for generating your own energy. While solar incentives provided by the state of California have been claimed, there is still a tax credit of 30% of the entire cost of a solar-powered system (extended through 2019). Along with the falling price of solar equipment and the range of competitive contractors in California, a commercial solar-powered system is a great way to lock in the cost of energy.
Additionally, if your business is especially energy-intensive, and you are enrolled in one of PG&E’s variable pricing programs, incentives are available for Advanced Demand Response systems. These systems kick in during times of peak demand to provide energy generated on- site. Alternately, you can still get on the waitlist for PG&E’s Self-Generation Incentive Program, which provides incentives for nonsolar generation and supplemental energy solutions such as battery storage and fuel cell technology.
For more information on energy-efficiency financing, check out PG&E’s "Guide to Financing Energy-Efficiency Projects."
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