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Sturgeon Bay Utilities Launches Effort to Make Smart Energy Use Everyone’s Business (3/2/2010)

Local businesses are key targets for an energy-saving initiative being launched this month by Sturgeon Bay Utilities (SBU) and its power supplier, WPPI Energy.

“There is no better time for local businesses to take action to reduce their operating expenses by saving energy,” said Melissa Moren, Energy Services Representative. “We want our commercial and industrial customers to know that SBU is here to help.”

SBU and WPPI Energy offer programs, technical assistance and financial incentives to help businesses operate more efficiently, and now the utilities are ramping up efforts to encourage customers to participate. This month, a direct mail piece to commercial and industrial utility customers highlights some of the utility’s key programs for businesses:

  • New Construction Design Assistance
    Construction projects present an ideal opportunity to design and build for greater efficiency, performance and comfort. SBU’s New Construction Design Assistance program offers technical and design assistance for new commercial buildings. In some cases, financial incentives are available to help overcome financial barriers to making efficiency improvements.
  • RFP for Energy Efficiency
    The Request for Proposals (RFP) for Energy Efficiency encourages investment in cost-effective, energy-saving projects by inviting large power customers to submit competitive proposals for upgrades to equipment and systems within existing facilities. Grant funding of up to $250,000 is awarded across the WPPI Energy system in each round of project bidding. Applications for the current round of funding are due March 26.
  • Shared Savings Program
    This program provides up-front capital to offset the initial cost of energy-saving projects with lasting results. Businesses or organizations may borrow up to $50,000 at a low interest rate, repaying the funding in monthly installments on their utility bill. Often, payments are less than the energy cost savings, resulting in a positive cash flow for the customer.

Outreach to commercial and industrial customers is one part of an overall strategy by SBU and the 50 other member utilities of WPPI Energy to ramp up energy efficiency, conservation and renewable efforts among all customers.

The emphasis on commercial and industrial customers—traditionally the largest users of energy—represents the first step in a comprehensive outreach plan by SBU and WPPI Energy. Residential customers will also receive information about energy efficiency and conservation opportunities and services throughout the year. All customers who are interested in reducing costs through energy efficiency programs available through SBU are encouraged to visit www.sbunet.com or call 746-2820.

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SBU is a community-owned utility supplying power to approximately 8,500 homes and businesses in the Sturgeon Bay area.

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