Campus: Sonoma State University -- November 08, 2002
Energy Management Students Will Help Small Businesses
Save Dollars In Utility Bills
The efficient use of energy is an important issue in today's world,
and Sonoma State University is doing its part by reaching out to small
businesses in Sonoma, Napa and Lake counties and helping them to reduce
their operating costs and save energy at the same time.
The University, in partnership with the Sonoma-based Small Business
Energy Alliance (SBEA), has trained students from the energy management
and design curriculum to do audits that lead to recommendations for
energy-efficient improvements. Such recommendations can lead to between
5 to 40 per cent reduction in energy use and thus a savings in the cost
"Energy efficiency is the most powerful tool we have for taking
action against global climate change," says Alexandra von Meier,
the director of the Environmental Technology Center (ETC) at Sonoma
State University. "This is an effective way of dealing with greenhouse
gas reduction in our communities."
Businesses from the very small (under 10,000 square feet) to medium
sized (10,000 - 50,000 square feet) are the target of this program which
pays up to 50% of the installed cost of the energy efficiency improvements.
The improvements can often pay for themselves in six months to a couple
The City of Sonoma has already agreed to fund the other half of improvement
costs for businesses in its area, and other cities in the three counties
are being approached to do the same.
The students are trained to complete small business energy audits, recommend
specific measures, and connect the businesses with qualified installers
who carry out the work.
Small businesses in the three county area can receive one or several
of the following recommendations:
- Installation of efficient lighting systems
- Installation of programmable thermostats
- tune-ups for "air conditioning systems"
- tune-ups for self-contained and split-system refrigeration systems
The SBEA grant is funded by California ratepayers with the guidance
of the California Public Utilities Commission and lasts until December,
2003. The SBEA partners include, Sonoma State University, RLW Analytics,
Inc, ASW Engineering, and Geltz Communications.
The SBEA is following in the footsteps of last year’s Energy Saver’s
Program, which was a huge success in the Southern California.
For more information, please contact Armando Navarro at (707) 664-2577,
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or the Small Business Energy Alliance at (800) 881-7232, www.sbeaonline.com.