“Over the past year, more than $48,000 has been invested in energy audits and “green” retrofits for merchants along Buckeye Road on Cleveland’s East Side.
According to Deepa Vedavyas, Associate Director for Development at Buckeye Area Development Corporation (BADC), this is just the beginning. She hopes to see Buckeye Road merchants become the first “green-certified retail district” in Cleveland.
“We’re using this as a learning opportunity, and encouraging them not to stop after the audit and retrofit,” she says. “Energy-efficient businesses save on utility bills, which gives them an extra dollar to use towards marketing or expansion.”
In all, 20 Buckeye Road merchants received energy audits, which assess the energy-efficiency of storefronts and determine cost-effective ways to help them save on their energy bills. Ten of these also received a $3,000 retrofit grant and participated in the Green Plus educational program. Green Plus is a national organization that is based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and provides technical assistance and certification for retailers that go green.
The energy audits and retrofits were supported by a partnership with the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) and funding from the Ohio Department of Energy (ODE). The Generation Foundation provided funding for the Green Plus program.
Buckeye businesses that completed audits also received $150 energy saver kits that included such items as LED exit lights, spray-in foam insulation and water-saving faucet aerators. Those that did retrofits have completed such tasks as adding insulation and sealing up air leakages at windows and doors.
Vedavyas plans to work with merchants to monitor their progress, evaluate their energy usage and see how much they save on utility bills over the next year.”
For the complete article at Fresh Water, please click here.
Source: Deepa Vedavyas
Writer: Lee Chilcote
The Institute for Sustainable Development / Green Plus