Climate Showcase Communities & The Tri-County Energy Efficiency Program
In 2010, we received a $305,000 EPA Climate Showcase Communities grant. The grant project helps small businesses in three counties, Lewis and Clark, Broadwater and Jefferson to complete energy upgrades.
There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States who collectively spend more than 60 billion dollars on heating, cooling, and lighting their work places every year. These businesses could see between a ten to thirty percent reduction in these costs by simply modifying behaviors and investing in energy upgrades.
With our Climate Showcase Communities grant, we have had 153 businesses participate in the Tri-county Small Business Efficiency Program. The first step was for the business to have an energy audit completed, then if there were recommendations outlined in the audit that could be done to reduce their energy consumption; we paid up to $1,500 toward these upgrades.
The businesses contributed a portion of the money towards the upgrades and Northwest Energy provided rebates for some of the upgrades. This made a $300,000 investment equate to over $500,000 being invested in energy upgrades.
750,000 kilowatt hours/year is saved and these businesses are saving over $100,000 per year with 700 tons of greenhouse gasses not being produced.