● West Chester Area Commercial Energy Summary
● Three Steps for Small Businesses
● Partner Organizations / Tools
● Existing Programs
There are numerous small businesses in the West Chester Area including restaurants, gyms, salons, physician offices, insurance agents, real estate offices, small retail stores, legal, contractors, and many more.
There are many resources available to help businesses reduce energy use, replace fossil fuel based energy use with electricity, and transition to renewable sources of electricity.
Depending on your business type and size, many of the ideas and resources overlap with residential property owners so reviewing that material can be helpful.
The same three themes presented to West Chester area residents of “Reduce”, “Electrify”, and “Transition” still apply for small business owners.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Explore this page to learn about the challenges and opportunities for small business members of our community to start on our path towards:
Transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
assisting your employees to do the same as you steer your services toward this future.
The most cost-effective strategy is to REDUCE, ELECTRIFY and TRANSITION to clean renewable energy in our businesses. Reducing our energy use is the place to start and is where our biggest opportunities can be found for taking actions that pay for themselves. More than 50% of commercial energy use is already electricity so there is a great opportunity to reduce and transition to renewable energy sources right away!
The relative size of the arrows above imply that the more we Reduce, the less we need to Electrify and Transition. Not necessarily a flowchart, we can work on all at the same time.
Aligning your business
Teaming with your employees
Multiple Resources on PECO’s Ways To Save For Business Website
Want to know if your business is wasting energy and money?
Sign up and PECO can create customized energy reports that include easy-to-understand data on your energy usage and recommendations for improving energy efficiency.
Receive a comprehensive on-site energy analysis of your business and a proposal highlighting the estimated energy savings associated with the recommended upgrades
Get direct installation of energy-saving improvements.
Connections to multiple financing options, energy savings that pay for your upgrades and post-installation warranties are available for qualifying upgrades.
Additional Energy Reduction Ideas
Get an energy audit
Reduce Peak Demand
Turn off lights when not in use or install sensors
Take advantage of natural sunlight to reduce lighting needs
Running fans in offices, warehouses, showrooms, kitchens, etc
Power down computers and other equipment at the end of the day
Prevent phantom energy - energy that is still being used by equipment that remains plugged in but not in use
Energy efficient landscaping (trees to shade in the summer, block wind in the winter)
HVAC: Install programmable thermostats
HVAC: Replace HVAC equipment if necessary and avoid oversizing equipment
HVAC: Change Air Filters regularly
Even more ideas at Conserve Energy Future
According to the EPA, the refrigeration at the typical supermarket contains 3,500 pound of refrigerant and leaks 25% of this refrigerant per year. The total losses of refrigerants to the atmosphere from all food stores in the U.S. result in almost 60 million tons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gases. These losses can be significantly reduced by careful monitoring of the tubing and valves of the equipment and fixing the leaks. New refrigeration equipment using CO2 as a refrigerant is being installed in supermarkets such as ALDI, Piggly Wiggly, and Walmart.
Electrify Your Small Business
- When your business’s HVAC is ready to be replaced, consider switching from natural gas or oil-based systems to a high efficiency air-based or geothermal electric heat pumps.
- When other equipment is ready to be replaced switch to electric, preferably Energy Star products whenever possible, including:
- Electric or induction cooking vs. gas
- Electric or heat pump hot water heaters vs. gas or oil
- If your business requires transportation consider EVs, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid vehicles when it is time for your vehicles to be replaced.
Also refer to the incentive list mentioned in Reduce section above.
Three Great Options For Transitioning to Renewable Energy for Any Business
- Purchase a solar array for your business
- Largest upfront investment, but best value over the 25+ year life of a solar arra
- Consider a ground mounted system if your business has the land and your roof is not ideal
- Quick solar estimating tool (electric bills of $500/month or less): https://sunroof.withgoogle.com/
- Sign up for a Solar Lease or PPA
- No upfront investment and will reduce your electricity bill over the term of the agreement. You are essentially “renting” the solar panels that are installed on your roof. https://www.energysage.com/solar/financing/solar-leases-and-solar-ppas/
- A great option if your property does not have the open space or roof needed for on-site solar
- Switch to a 100% renewable energy electricity supplier (wind, solar, hydro)
- No upfront investment.
- Could lead to a slight increase in your electric rate at current prices, but renewable energy continues to come down in price and will likely be the least expensive option in the future. https://www.papowerswitch.com/
- Smart Energy Initiative
- PECO: https://www.peco.com/WaysToSave/ForYourBusiness/Pages/Default.aspx
- Local Energy Efficiency Companies
- Local HVAC Companies
- Solar Companies
- Energy Sage - Can sign up to receive multiple quotes in minutes
- Google Project Sunroof
- Solarize Southeast PA
- PA Green Bank
- MIT Interactive Tool showing the environmental and monetary costs of owning different vehicles over their lifetime–from production, to ongoing maintenance and operation.
- Energy Star website for small business