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ENERGY STAR for Small Businesses : FAQs

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General Information:

Who can participate in ENERGY STAR for small business?

Any public or private organization can partner with EPA to improve its facilities by committing to continuous improvement of its energy efficiency. Get the Partner Agreement or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES and ask for “technical support” to start saving money.

How much can I save?

Depending on your facility’s operating hours, condition, equipment and energy costs, savings of 25% or higher are typical. We can help you decide on a strategy that optimizes savings and upgrade costs, and help design an upgrade that quickly pays for itself, and then yields monthly cost reductions.

Does ENERGY STAR supply upgrade funding?

No

Does ENERGY STAR require me to submit reports or undergo inspections?

No. However, you can choose to voluntarily share information for a Success Story and be eligible for our Annual National Awards Program. If your upgrade constitutes an outstanding Success Story, it may be written up to be published in hard copy, distributed to the media.

Are there other businesses like mine that have done this?

Yes, for information on businesses similar to yours, visit Success Stories or the partner list located on this Web site, or Contact Us by E-Mail, or at 1-888-STAR-YES.

How can I find out what is going on with energy efficiency in my area?

To find out more about energy efficiency in your area, please refer to our Directory that provides links to local Success Stories, Events, and Partners.

I run my business from my home. Can I still join?

Yes, ENERGY STAR for small business has a number of partners that work from home. You can find more information relating to home office energy efficiency on our Home Based Business Web page.

Aren’t energy efficiency upgrades costly and difficult to implement?

No. Done properly, energy efficiency upgrades can provide a positive cash flow right from the beginning. For specific low-cost and no-cost upgrade options, check out our Sure Energy Savers and Tenant Tech Sheet located online.

I’ve heard that energy efficiency upgrades can prevent pollution. How do I know how much pollution I am preventing?

Call us toll-free at 1-888 STAR-YES (that’s 1-888-782-7937) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, choose the “small business/congregations” menu item, then ask the operator for technical support at Aspen Systems. Aspen Systems is a contractor to EPA, so the cost of their technical support is paid by EPA, and is of no-cost to the individual small businesses.

Doesn’t energy-efficient lighting mean lower quality light?

No. If done properly, your lighting quality will actually improve as you save money. For more information on energy-efficient lighting check out pages 33 to 46 of the “Putting Energy Into Profits: ENERGY STAR for Small Business Guide.”

How can I find out about energy efficiency events?

Visit our Events page.

Can I talk with a “real person” about cutting energy costs in my specific facility?

Yes, just call us toll-free at 1-888 STAR YES (that’s 1-888-782-7937) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, choose the “small business/congregations” menu item, then ask the operator for technical support at Aspen Systems. Aspen Systems is a contractor to EPA, so the cost of their technical support is paid by EPA, and is of no-cost to the individual small businesses.

You can also Contact Us by E-Mail at this Web site, or fax your questions to 301-977-8474 (include your phone number), and we’ll call you back. Our energy experts can do calculations on energy costs and savings, tell you about specific technologies, and help you determine the efficiency upgrade strategy that is best for your situation.

To help determine a strategy, we will need to know your facility’s approximate square footage, type of equipment used and monthly energy costs. However, that information is not necessary to ask us questions, or for us to start working together. We look forward to helping you save money on your energy bills, so give us a call!

Who can I contact for assistance on environmental compliance?

Please contact the EPA’s Small Business Ombudsman service for guidance and explanations of environmental regulations. This service can be reached at their toll-free hotline (1-800-368-5888) or at EPA’s Small Business Ombudsman.

Where can I find press information regarding national stories about ENERGY STAR for small business?

You’ll find the latest national news stories about ENERGY STAR for small business in our News Room.

Where can I find Success Stories regarding local stories about ENERGY STAR for small business?

Local stories are sorted by state. Go to our Directory and select the state in which you’re interested. Then select “Success Stories.”

Can I include the ENERGY STAR logo in my article; and what are the guidelines for its usage?

See Download ENERGY STAR Marks for logos and guidelines.

Where can I find information about ENERGY STAR media services?

For ENERGY STAR media services, contact us toll-free at 1-888-STAR-YES.

Getting Started:

How do I get started?

You can get started by joining ENERGY STAR for small business.

Who can help me perform energy efficiency upgrades?

To get information on who can help you perform your energy efficiency upgrades, visit our Directory of energy Service and Product Providers and Success Stories located on this Web site.

How do I get my business facility surveyed to determine potential savings and the cost to upgrade equipment?

For information on getting your business assessed visit our list of surveyor firms and Success Stories. In addition, contact your local utility about performing a assessment.

Where can I find funding?

For information on funding please see our Directory for financial resources in your area.

Where can I get financial incentives/rebates?

Contact your local utility company about financial incentives and rebates. Our E-Updates provide timely information on current initiatives.

How do I find/buy energy efficiency services and products?

To get more information on energy efficiency services and products, please see our Directory which contains links to the Directory of finance, and services and products or contact us by phone at 1-888-STAR-YES or by E-mail. Information about energy efficiency products can also be found at the U.S. Department of Energy and Save Energy Web sites.

How can I find the most efficient alternative to replace my equipment and where can I purchase it?

Call our technical hotline at 1-888-STAR-YES or visit our online products page and store locator. We also recommend looking at the “Putting Energy Into Profits: ENERGY STAR for Small Business Guide” and Tech Tips located online.

Where can I buy ENERGY STAR labeled products?

For information on ENERGY STAR labeled products, check out the products page and store locator where you can search for a variety of energy-efficient products.

Where can I buy green energy?

Information on green energy can by found on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Network Web site. We also recommend you visit the Green-e Web site. The Green-e certification project is the nation’s first voluntary certification and verification program for green electricity products.

Should I replace old equipment with more efficient versions only when the old equipment breaks?

No. In some cases, it may be cost effective to replace your current operating equipment immediately. However, to determine if this option is right for you, contact your local service and product provider.

I want to start a business. Where can I find information on start-up funds or business loans?

We recommend that you start with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office for start-up and financial information. Go to the SBA Web site and select the “Financing Your Business” button for detailed information. Your local SBA office can be located by choosing the “Your Local SBA Offices” button. This will bring up a map of the United States. Then select your state.

You may also want to the check the listing of frequently asked questions posted within the SBA Web site.

We also recommend visiting the EPA Small Business Gateway where you can search for a variety of options and information (financial and otherwise) for small businesses.

In addition, you may want to check with the EPA Small Business Ombudsman service for guidance and explanations of environmental regulations. This service can be reached at their toll-free hotline (1-800-368-5888) or at EPA’s Small Business Ombudsman.

Can I talk with a ‘real person’ about cutting energy costs in my specific facility?

Yes, just call us toll-free at 1-888 STAR YES (that’s 1-888-782-7937) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, choose the “small business/congregations” menu item, then ask the operator for technical support at Aspen Systems. Aspen Systems is a contractor to EPA, so the cost of their technical support is paid by EPA, and is of no-cost to the individual small businesses.

You can also send us an E-mail at this Web site, or fax your questions to 301-977-8474 (include your phone number), and we’ll call you back. Our energy experts can do calculations on energy costs and savings, tell you about specific technologies, and help you determine the efficiency upgrade strategy that is best for your situation.

To help determine a strategy, we will need to know your facility’s approximate square footage, type of equipment used, and monthly energy costs, but that information is not necessary to ask us questions, or start working together. We look forward to helping you save money on your energy bills, so give us a call!

Getting Recognized:

How can I get recognized for the work I have done?

Please fill out our online application form to submit a Success Story and/or be nominated for an award.

How can I recognize the good job an energy service and product provider did on my facility?

Please fill out our online application form to submit a Success Story about an energy product and service provider and/or nominate them for an award.

How can I nominate a small business for an award?

Please fill out our online application form to nominate a small business for an award.

How can I promote ENERGY STAR?

Call us toll-free at 1-888-STAR-YES and ask for ENERGY STAR for small business brochures.

Can I talk with a ‘real person’ about cutting energy costs in my specific facility?

Yes, just call us toll-free at 1-888 STAR YES (that’s 1-888-782-7937) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, choose the “small business/congregations” menu item, then ask the operator for technical support at Aspen Systems. Aspen Systems is a contractor to EPA, so the cost of their technical support is paid by EPA, and is of no-cost to the individual small businesses.

You can also send us an E-mail at this Web site, or fax your questions to 301-977-8474 (include your phone number), and we’ll call you back. Our energy experts can do calculations on energy costs and savings, tell you about specific technologies, and help you determine the efficiency upgrade strategy that is best for your situation.

To help determine a strategy, we will need to know your facility’s approximate square footage, type of equipment used, and monthly energy costs, but that information is not necessary to ask us questions, or start working together. We look forward to helping you save money on your energy bills, so give us a call!

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