12 Great (Free) Energy Efficiency Resources

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After on my post last week on on-bill financing, I was asked if I knew of similar programs in other states or federal programs doing similar things.  First, I should note that I believe OBF is the most significant energy efficiency opportunity available to small businesses and many are totally unaware of it. That said, here are a bunch of additional free resources available to businesses interested in improving energy efficiency:

  1. Confused about whether you should you run your laptop off battery power or use a charger? Jacob Leibenluft’s smart article in Slate tells it all.
  2. An energy management plan is a good place to start your energy efficiency efforts because even the most basic EM plan can produce significant savings. ENERGYSTAR has really good guidelines for Energy Management.
  3. ENERGY STAR for Small Business also provides a wealth of free, unbiased information and technical support with the goal of “improving your company’s financial performance by reducing energy waste and energy costs, while protecting the earth’s environment.”
  4. Buying new computers? Before you do check out the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). EPEAT evaluates and compares electronic products based on their environmental attributes and currently covers desktop and laptop computers, thin clients, workstations and computer monitors.
  5. The Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) provides consumers and businesses with information about federal income tax incentives for energy-efficient products and technologies. Includes free collateral materials, a webinar and all the IRS forms you need.
  6. U.S. Department of Energy Business & Utilities Tax Incentives provides information on renewable energy incentives for businesses and utilities who produce or utilize renewable energy including tax credits for the production of electricity from, and facilities that utilize most kinds of renewable energy.
  7. U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency provides links to information on tax incentives for residential and commercial buildings, including qualified software available for calculating commercial building tax deductions.
  8. The Database of State Incentives & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Includes a clickable map.
  9. U.S. Department of Energy: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) site and The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Information Center Q&A page has answers to all sorts of questions including fuel economy, industrial best practices and funding opportunities for inventors.
  10. Thinking about improving your building’s insulation? U.S. Department of Energy has a great primer on insulation.
  11. Climate Savers Computing Initiative includes resources for greening IT and a Smart Computing product catalog.
  12. A surprisingly large number of electrical products cannot be switched off completely without being unplugged. These products draw power 24 hours a day, often without the knowledge of the consumer. (aka. “standby power”) In the US, standby power amounts to almost 10% of electricity use. Berkeley Lab Standby website provides information about how to reduce it.

Photo: Julia Freeman-Woolpert at sxc.hu.