Energy Efficiency Resources
Get help identifying energy efficiency projects for your business, plus find partners who can help and ways to fund your project!
Four Steps to Starting Your Energy Efficiency Project (plus helpful resources!)
The following links will connect you with resources that help your business, organization, or local government identifies opportunities to save energy, implement projects, and realize long-term energy savings.
STEP 1: IDENTIFY SAVINGS OPPORTUNITIES
Assessing profitable opportunities to reduce utility consumption is often the most difficult step in the process. A variety of programs and organization can assist depending on the type of facility you manage:
Tennessee Tech University will send a team of engineering students and a faculty member armed with the latest energy monitoring devices to determine how your industrial or water treatment facility can reduce energy consumption. Within a few months, your company will have a thorough energy audit at no expense.
The UT Center of Industrial Services will help companies and local governments measure energy use and plan to address waste for a modest fee. UTCIS can work with almost any facility but past programs have targeted jails, water treatment facilities, and large industrial facilities.
Tennessee Valley Authority has an experienced team of engineers which will work with high-use commercial and industrial customers to reduce energy impact. This service is offered through the customers electrical distributor so you must contact the distributor directly.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has an Office of Energy Programs that assists facilities in the state reduce energy in specific areas of need. Currently, the Office of Energy Programs is directing efforts to help local governments reduce energy use at water treatment facilities.
TVA has a network of Preferred Partners who can help you identify energy saving opportunities at your facility. Some contractors can address all of your energy needs and others will have expertise in a specific area such as lighting.
STEP 2: FIND ENERGY PARTNERS
Finding a partner is the next step once you have identified areas to reduce energy use.
TVA has a network of Preferred Partners who can help you reduce energy at your facility. Some contractors can address all of your energy needs and others will have expertise in a specific area such as lighting. TVA Preferred Partners can also assist you with the process of earning an incentive from TVA for implementing your energy efficiency project.
TVA’s Green Power Provider program only offers Power Purchase Agreements to facilities using NABCEP certified installers. This list includes NABCEP certified installers in the Tennessee Valley. These installers can build your solar system and can manage the process to attain a purchase agreement with TVA.
You likely have a colleague or even a competitor in your industry who has been through an energy efficiency project. You can use their knowledge gained from working at a similar facility to your advantage. Pathway Lending can also be a resource of potential partners.
STEP 3: EXPLORE CAPITAL SOURCES TO FUND YOUR ENERGY PROJECT
Energy efficiency projects will save you money in the long run, PLUS there are several sources of capital available for to help you fund energy reduction installations, upgrades and retrofits.
Pathway Lending operates a low-interest, revolving loan fund to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Tennessee. As a private, non-profit, community development lender, Pathway Lending offers 100% financing for projects ranging from $20,000 to $5 million. To date, we have funded more than 200 projects throughout the state. Below market rates are a great incentive to leverage your investment and capture all the energy savings you can today. Using debt for energy efficiency projects also allows you to keep cash and working capital in your business.
TVA offers incentives for projects which reduce electricity consumption. The amount of incentive varies based on the amount of energy reduced and type of project.
Businesses in rural areas can apply for grants to fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. REAP Grants can cover up to 25% of project costs.
Tax deductions are available to building owners investing in lighting, envelope, or HVAC to reduce energy use. Make sure to discuss this deduction with your installer before you start your energy efficiency project because certain parameters must be met to qualify for the deduction.
Tax credits are available to commercial and industrial businesses investing in solar and other renewable energy technologies. Make sure to discuss this deduction with your installer before you start your energy efficiency project because certain parameters must be met to qualify for the credit.
STEP 4: EVALUATE YOUR ENERGY USE
You will want to observe the benefits of your energy efficiency project when you are done. You will probably also look for new opportunities to save.
An energy management plan is critical to further reduce energy at your facility whether you are a small business, large corporation, or a local government. The plan will help you identify new opportunities to invest in energy efficiency but it will also help modify behavior as your team becomes more aware of energy use.
Show your organization’s commitment to energy efficiency by enrolling in the Better Building Challenge. The website also offers informative resources to help you continue to improve efficiency and meet long-term goals.
Energy Star Portfolio Manager® is a free tool to help your organization monitor energy use and compare your facility to similar ones. It creates a baseline and shows your improvement over time as utility bills are entered into the system.
The Tennessee Energy Education Initiative provides information on training, tools, and funding to support organizations in Tennessee considering energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This resource will help you evaluate your energy use and efficiency efforts as compared to others in the region.