From our Director:
Energy prices in New England create a competitive disadvantage for businesses located here. And with the unpredictability in energy prices (except that we can generally count on them going up), a smart, strategic move for any business owner will be to identify energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that can reduce operating costs and increase productivity, occupant comfort and safety. The good news is that low-cost energy audits are now available for agricultural producers and rural small businesses in the Monadnock region. The New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) is now accepting applications from agricultural producers and rural small businesses in the Monadnock Region interested in low-cost energy audits for their facility.
Eligible participants will receive a comprehensive energy audit of an existing building that will estimate implementation costs, potential energy and financial savings, as well as a return-on-investment. Using funds from the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant program, CDFA will cover 75 percent of the comprehensive energy audit costs with eligible participants required to pay for 25 percent. CDFA will work with qualifying business owners to identify an eligible energy auditor, as well as incentives and financing opportunities available for implementing the recommended energy upgrades.
Fortunately, the federal government’s definition of “small” means most for-profit businesses in the Monadnock Region are eligible. While audit costs and estimated savings vary significantly depending on the size and age of the building and equipment, type of business, and other factors, a typical audit for this program will cost the customer $1,000 – $2,000, and in our experience, small businesses following comprehensive audit recommendations save between 15% and 50% of their annual energy costs. Before committing to an audit CDFA and your auditor can discuss your facility with you to decide whether there is enough potential for energy improvements to warrant your audit investment.
Another piece of good news, this is not a competitive program. Applications are used only to confirm eligibility and are being accepted on a rolling basis. Applications will take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete and require your facility’s electric and fuel use for the past 12-24 months. So the early bird gets the worm here, get to it! I’d love to see businesses in our region benefit from this opportunity – leaving you with more money to spend on salaries, R&D, community support….
For more information about the program and how to apply, contact Scott Maslansky, Director of Clean Energy Finance at the Community Development Finance Authority — 603-717-9123 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep up the good work,