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August 3, 2009
By Claudene Wharton
In these tough economic times, there is added incentive to increase energy efficiency and reduce operating cost in offices and retail outlets. Business owners and managers, as well as property owners, can learn more about how they can save energy and money at two free workshops presented by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Small Business Development Center Business Environmental Program, in Carson City on Aug. 11, and in Las Vegas on Aug. 18.
The seminar will provide information on how retail businesses, offices and commercial buildings can conserve energy and reduce operating costs by making changes in things such as light, ventilation and hot-water systems.
“Investments in energy efficiency outperform almost all other investments available today, often achieving 30 percent to 200 percent simple return on investment at minimal risk,” said Peter Millar, Energy Management Specialist with the Nevada Small Business Development Center at the University.
Presenters will also discuss how businesses can change building-use patterns and operating procedures to become more energy efficient and positively affect their bottom line at low to no cost.
Perhaps most of interest to businesses, information will be given on tax credits and tax deductions available for energy-saving investments, as well as cash incentives available from NV Energy and their Sure Bet program. Financing options from a variety of funding sources will also be discussed.
The workshops will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., Aug. 11 in Carson City at Western Nevada College, 2201 W. College Parkway, in the Reynolds Room 113; and 2 to 5 p.m., Aug. 18 in Las Vegas at NV Energy, 6226 W. Sahara Ave., in the Wengert Room. Although the seminars are free, interested members of the business community should register online at nsbdc.org , or by calling 866-638-7232, in order to reserve a space. Space is limited, and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Nevada Small Business Development Center at the University’s College of Business was one of just four small business development centers in the country recently awarded funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration for projects offering energy-efficiency assistance to small businesses. The Center was awarded a $125,000 Small Business Sustainability Initiative grant this year, and will be eligible for $125,000 grants each of the next three years as well, as funds are available.
The Center has already plowed new ground in helping businesses with environmental issues, being the first small business development center in the nation to develop an environmental assistance program in 1988. It has helped several industries implement cost-effective approaches that have improved their environmental performance. As a result, similar programs were developed in 11 other states.
The recent grant will allow the program to provide workshops that target several specific industries, in addition to office and retail business, such as food service, grocers, and hotels. Businesses seeking more information on the workshops or how to address environmental issues are encouraged to contact the Nevada Small Business Development Center Business Environmental Program at the University of Nevada, Reno, (775) 689-6676.