Business Energy Action FAQ
Business Energy Action FAQ’s
1. How do I enroll?
- The Enrollment process starts with a survey, here. This will allow us to compile information on your facility and your energy usage data. Then, as we add your business to our database, you will receive technical assistance through BEA and also be referred to Efficiency Vermont or Burlington Electric Department (depending on your location), and Vermont Gas Systems to help you reduce your energy use!
2. Why should my business join the Business Energy Action challenge?
- Save money while reducing your environmental impact! Efficiency measures pay for themselves, through a combination of rebates and energy expense savings. Not only is this good for your bottom line, but it is good for the environment. Efficiency measures reduce our reliance on conventional sources of energy. Efficiency measures are often parallel with reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
- All participants in the program will receive publicity along the way. Additionally, your business may be highlighted in one of many regular ‘business spotlights’ which will go out to other program participants.
3. What is an Energy Efficiency Utility? What services can they provide?
- An Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) is an entity that provides financial, technical, and design assistance to residential and business clients. Vermont’s EEU’s are Burlington Electric Department, which serves Burlington exclusively, and Efficiency Vermont, which serves the rest of the state. Vermont’s EEU’s focus on multiple sources of efficiency. Much of their efforts are concentrated on electrical and lighting solutions. Further, Energy Efficiency Utilities help businesses and homeowners with building envelope efficiency services (sealing air leaks, insulation measures, etc.). Business Energy Action will link your business with these EEU's, giving you great resources to get started on reducing your energy use.
4. Does it cost anything?
- There are no costs to participate in the program.
- Some efficiency measures do cost money, though with the financial incentives available and lower energy bills over time, these measures often pay for themselves!
5. What types of businesses can enroll?
- Any and all businesses! Businesses do not need to be a member of VBSR to join the challenge. Small, medium, and large organizations are all encouraged.
"All Business Energy Action participants will be assigned a benchmark score, indicating their past energy consumption in one statistic; this is a statistic averaged over the last three years. This benchmark score will be compared with similar businesses locally and nationally."
6. How will this information be helpful to my business?
- By comparing energy usage with other businesses and national averages, you can quickly see where your business ranks. If the BEA benchmark indicates a high energy usage (per sq. ft.), this will indicate that there may be energy efficiency opportunities to reduce costs.
7. What is the energy benchmark?
- An energy benchmark, or Energy Utilization Index (EUI), is calculated for all businesses that enroll in BEA. The benchmark process involves obtaining all building energy usage used on an annual basis. This includes electricity and fossil fuels such as natural gas, fuel oil, and propane. All of these quantities are then converted to equivelant values known as British Thermal Units (Btu). The total energy usage is then divided by the total building area (sq. ft.) to calculate the Energy Utilization Index for the building, in Btu/ sq. ft.
8. My business is growing, how will BEA recognize my energy reductions if my total usage is growing?
- A great question. Though we will not be able to perfectly recognize your energy efficiency reductions, we can calculate a energy usage growth rate for your company, allowing us to find the difference in your "pre- efficiency growth rate," and the observed energy use rate.
9. When I participate in BEA, will my information be kept confidential?
- Yes. BEA will ask your permission to obtain electricity and fuel usage from your providers. In order to participate, VBSR must recieve this information. All electricity and fuel records, including the benchmarking score, will be kept confidential.
- That said, BEA plans to publicize your business for being part of the Challenge, and will not obtain permission to do so. Businesses that do not want their name publicized and recognized by BEA can opt out of this. Further questions/ comments on this topic can be referred to firstname.lastname@example.org.