Energy audits help local businesses save thousands

Amelia Holliday Staff Reporter aholliday@civitasmedia.com

February 4, 2014

HAZARD—Starting a business and keeping its head above water is hear enough without the added costs of high heating bills thanks to this year’s abnormally cold winter. The Mountain Association for Community and Economic Development (MACED) has been working to help local businesses and nonprofits in the area combat those high costs with an energy saving loan program.

The Energy Efficient Enterprise, or E3 for short, offers business owners the opportunity to have an energy audit done on their place of business and will help finance and energy and cost saving measures recommended to the business or nonprofit after the audit is complete.

Les Roll, enterprise development project specialist, said the program aims to help small businesses in the area cut costs so they will be able to have a longer life in a community where jobs and business opportunities are desperately needed.

“It gives them the opportunity to invest a little bit of money to change some things … and the long-term savings they will receive from those changes will more than pay for the initial investment,” Roll said.

The audit, Roll said, consists of checking heating and cooling units, lighting, and any refrigeration units in the business to see what can be changed or upgraded to help save energy costs.

One grocery store in which the audit was completed, Roll added, was able to save $50,000 with the energy saving changes made.

“This is something we like to offer to this area in particular because the payback is just so great,” he said.

Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.