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Downtown businesses

Energy Audit Program
Many of New York small businesses and non-profits are eligible for a low-cost, comprehensive energy assessment. To be eligible, the business or organization must have an average electric demand of 100kW or less. A trained energy auditor will inspect your facility, looking for ways to reduce energy costs by reducing drafts, increasing ventilation, and controlling humidity. Visit the NYSERDA Energy Audit Program website for more info and how to apply.

Commercial and Industrial Rebate Program
NYSEG and RG&E commercial, industrial, and institutional customers that pay a System Benefits Charge are eligible for rebates for energy efficiency upgrades such as lighting improvements, heating upgrades, and HVAC systems. For more information on eligibility and rebate offers, check out the programís webpage.

Demand Response Programs
Commercial and industrial customers that use large amounts of electricity at the same time puts the grid under stress, increasing the likelihood of outages. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is working with businesses to help them manage their energy usage during peak electricity demand. In return, utilities pay these businesses for reducing their electricity use. To register your business for these programs or for more details, visit the NYISO website. Both National Grid and NYSEG are participants in these programs and tailor them to their customers. Visit their respective websites for more details.

Existing Facilities Program
NYSERDAís Existing Facilities Program offers incentives for a variety of energy projects at existing commercial and industrial facilities. Pre-Qualified Incentives encourage applicants to purchase and install more energy-efficient equipment for small-sized energy projects and equipment replacement projects and range up to $30,000. The Performance-Based incentives offer incentives to customers or energy service companies who are working on large-scale energy efficiency projects, up to $5 million. These are typically higher than the Pre-Qualified Measures. Commercial and industrial facilities that pay a System Benefits Charge (SBC) are eligible. Visit the Existing Facilities Program website for details and instructions on how to apply.

FlexTech Program
NYSERDAís FlexTech Program provides facility managers with detailed, objective, and customized information to help them make informed energy decisions. Consultants are available to help ensure maximum returns on energy investment. Cost-sharing incentives are available for certain projects and studies. Only commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities greater than 50,000 sq/ft that pay into the System Benefits Charge are eligible. Visit NYSERDA FlexTech Program webpage for details.

New Construction Program (NCP)
The New Construction Program (NCP), offered through NYSERDA, provides assistance for incorporating energy-efficiency measures into the design, construction, and operation of new and substantially renovated buildings. The program is available to all types of building construction. Technical assistance is available to help design and construct buildings to meet modern efficiency standards. Supplemental funding can also be obtained to offset the costs associated with installing energy efficient products. Further information about the program or how you can apply can be found at the NCP website.

Renewable Energy Certificates
Buying renewable energy certificates (RECs) proves that your business is committed to supporting green energy. A REC is the equivalent of 1,000 kilowatt-hours (or 1MWh) of electricity created using clean forms of power, such as wind or solar. Supplying your business with green energy will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and increase your environmental standing. Green Power NYC has an easy to use site where you can begin purchasing RECs to offset your emissions.

Small Business Energy Efficiency Program
NYSEG business customers with demand of less than 100 kilowatts (kw) are eligible to receive free energy assessments and up to 70% of the cost of recommended lighting upgrades. For more information on how your business can enroll, visit the programís website or call (877) 359-9814. National Grid also offers a similar program for its customers.

ENERGY STAR has provided an excellent guide (Adobe PDF) for small businesses on how to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

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Biofuel Station Initiative Program
NYSERDA is working to increase the number of retail E85 and blended biodiesel (biofuels) service stations in New York State available to the public through the Biofuel Station Initiative. The program currently offers 50% of the cost of installing biofuel pump equipment, with a maximum contribution of $50,000. There are similar provisions available to biofuel distributors as well. Retail pump stations and blending facilities across the state are all eligible for assistance.

Mass Transit
The Capital District Transportation Authority operates buses throughout the Capital Region. Using the tools on their website you can search for routes for your commute and find time tables. Using mass transit saves you money on parking, gas and the hassle of driving through traffic. CDTA buses also have bike racks on the front so that people can take their bikes on the bus with them. Varying levels of payment are available, such as day passes, 10-trips, or monthlies.

Car Share
Zipcar now offers FastFleet, a system that enables owners of large fleets to transform their existing system into a car share. FastFleet analyzes your current fleet and gives advice on how to trim away costly and polluting vehicles and to use the remaining vehicles more efficiently. Tracking systems installed in each vehicle enables you to keep tabs on who is using a vehicle, what it is being used for, where it is going, and when it is available. Governments, campuses, and large businesses have all seen substantial cost savings after implementing the program.

Carpooling reduces the number of vehicles on our roads, helping lower our greenhouse gas emissions and save on fuel costs. Ipool2 is an excellent resource for finding carpools in the Capital Region. Members can sign up to find others who share their commute, as well as other options including Park & Ride, forming vanpools, and other transit options.

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Recommended Resources

If your business is looking for more information on how to be more sustainable, the following books could help.

Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage by Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston.

The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function - (Apr. 19, 2011) by Daniel Esty and P.J. Simmons

Sustainable Value: How the Worldís Leading Companies Are Doing Well by Doing Good; Chris Laszlo

Smart Green: How to Implement Sustainable Business Practices in Any Industry Ė and Make Money; Jonathan Estes

The Sustainable MBA: The Managerís Guide to Green Business; Giselle Weybrecht

Sustainable Business Development: Inventing the Future Through Strategy, Innovation, and Leadership; David L. Rainey

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This website was prepared with funds provided by the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program
and through a grant from the Stakeholders Foundation.