The collaborative efforts of industry leaders, university research facilities and government agencies have led to dramatic changes in the way commercial enterprises have spent valuable energy sources in the past three decades. Consuming approximately 33 percent of all end-use energy in the U.S., the industrial sector is responsible for more energy expenditures than any other sector, according to the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
Numerous positive changes in agricultural and manufacturing sectors suggest new strategies to reduce greenhouse gas effects and generate cost-effective management and production programs. Beyond the environmental impact, responsible industry practices influence millions of employees, customers and energy consumers.
ACEEE experts agree the past three decades increased awareness and introduced technology and protocols that support sustainable commerce. However, there is still much to be accomplished before the industry can relax.
Repair and Retrofitting Rebates
Retrofitting an existing plant or office complex is expensive, restricting some companies from immediately incorporating cost-saving, environmentally conscious equipment and building modifications. To overcome these financial burdens, many federal, state and local agencies are initiating, or already have, programs to support growth with cash incentives and rebates.
For example, Florida companies are eligible to receive up to $100,000 in rebates for projects that create higher energy efficiency through updating facilities and installing new energy-efficient equipment, according to the North Carolina State University’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
Under the Florida Utility Rebate Program, commercial and industrial organizations that meet program requirements are eligible for cash rebates for everything from installing Energy Star windows and reflective roofs, to updating insulation for higher ratings in walls and attic spaces.
Information on the DSIRE is updated frequently, as new state initiatives are approved and made available to consumers.
Additional Ways to Save
Whether the enterprise is a small- to mid-sized manufacturing firm or a mega-conglomerate with multiple subsidiaries, wisely choosing an energy supplier is one way every company can benefit.
Saveonenergy.com’s help center says selecting a supplier offering substantially lower rates and clear billing statements for monthly analysis is an avenue to gain more control of energy expenditures to create savings for the company.
In addition to lower rates, companies should ask every potential energy supplier about rebates. Companies that support sustainability-conscious energy supplies with their business encourage employees to follow suit, expanding the environmental impact.
An extensive energy audit often uncovers energy deficiencies in building construction or design, equipment operations and company use policies. An independent energy auditor completes a thorough inspection of the business property, then provides a detailed report of suggested upgrades or repairs to increase energy efficiency.
The report includes a listing of energy-saving appliances and rebate incentives. Accounting and budgeting staff can use the report to prepare a plan for implementing changes to lower costs and increase company profitability while adopting green energy policies for the future.
Making Changes for the Future
The industrial sector has a responsibility to adopt clean-air policies and continue to explore innovative solutions that enrich the lives of citizens while protecting stakeholder interest. Initiating cost-effective practices that reduce financial burdens and encourage employees and customers to embrace sustainable energy sources is the right thing to do for everyone.
Does your company participate in energy-saving rebate programs? Share your experiences in the comments.