Small Business Energy Coaches

Commercial buildings account for 20% of energy consumed in the United States, and 90% of these are small buildings. There is great potential for small businesses to reduce energy usage and improve their bottom line, but traditional outreach programs have failed to reach this market because energy efficiency is often time-consuming and difficult to quickly grasp, making it a burden that small business owners often overlook.

This pilot project aims to address this problem by training and deploying “energy coaches” – representatives from trusted local business associations – who can take the pain out of understanding energy efficiency by building relationships with small business owners and helping them one step at a time.

This project takes place in Minneapolis, with a focus on the diverse Lake Street corridor. It utilizes a partnership of non-profit, for-profit, and government entities to advance energy efficiency in the local small business sector. Outcomes for this project include individuals trained as energy coaches, business owners receiving technical assistance, businesses implementing energy efficiency actions, published case studies on energy efficient businesses, energy reduced and dollars saved (or freed for reinvestment) by local businesses, people engaged more broadly in this effort through promotional activities, and the development of a new model for achieving energy efficiency in the small business sector.

Blog

Event Celebrates Energy Efficiency, Equity for Small Businesses

Collaborative effort engages utility customers that are often difficult-to-reach.

Press Event Highlights Opportunities for Small Business Energy Savings

Wells Fargo supports GPI’s Metro CERT program by presenting a “big check” for the Small Business Energy Coaches project.

A New Approach to Small Business Energy Efficiency

Business advocates, rather than energy advocates, might be the key to unlocking energy efficiency in the small business sector.

Staff

Project Manager