Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is currently working with a national team of experts to test a program for pinpointing long-term energy cost savings in existing buildings. The innovative America Saves! pilot will use energy and facility information to show the financial attractiveness of money- and energy-saving building improvements.
Community volunteers will gather business energy usage and building attribute information. Data analysis by Green Lab and its partners will reveal opportunities for cost-effective building retrofits. With the help of community volunteers, businesses can apply for incentives from their electric and natural gas utilities to implement the identified upgrades.
America Saves! Benefits
- No cost energy savings potential analysis
- Easy-to-understand technical report
- Improvements prioritized by energy savings and payback
- Insight about the energy use at your business or facility
- Help with electric and natural gas utility incentive programs and forms
- Involvement in community-wide sustainability efforts
- Inclusion in national business directory
- Local and national recognition
- Branding and public relations opportunities
- Potential long-term energy, energy bill and maintenance dollar savings
A key hurdle to improving small business energy efficiency is that decision-makers are too busy running their business to think about energy, let alone how to use less. However, a tremendous opportunity exists to free up energy dollars that these businesses can use to grow.
That’s why we’re working with Main Street communities, Community Development Corporations, Business Improvement Districts, and other organized small-scale commercial districts to implement the national America Saves! project to help small businesses save money and drive reinvestment in their communities. We ask you to use your community relationships to help connect small businesses and building owners with energy efficiency information, resources and assistance. Funding is available to support your networking efforts through America Saves! community grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and US DOE.
Economic and Environmental Benefits
America Saves! is designed to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment while enhancing economic sustainability in Main Street communities and other small-scale commercial districts which have been largely overlooked in the energy efficiency marketplace. The program will help achieve these benefits by lowering energy costs, stimulating employment growth and improving the efficiency of small businesses through “no hassle” energy retrofits. A recent Preservation Green Lab report on the energy efficiency potential of small, existing buildings indicates that aligning the interests of small buildings and business owners with a delivery mechanism for energy retrofits could result in more than $240 billion in capital investment and 580,000 permanent jobs nationwide by 2050.