Grants to Help Improve Energy Efficiency, Reduce Pollution

State investments are helping Pennsylvania small-business owners continue to lower their operating costs by conserving energy and reducing pollution, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said today.

Hanger announced that 90 small businesses across the state will receive more than $560,000 in grants through the Small Business Advantage program to reduce energy use and pollution, enabling them to become more competitive.

“Small-business owners face many challenges including how to reinvest their hard-earned dollars,” said Hanger. “In recent years, a growing number of small-business owners have realized that investing in projects that reduce pollution and energy use produce immediate and long-term positive results. Owners can improve their bottom lines, allowing them to make significant investments in their own futures, and the economic and environmental future of Pennsylvania, as well.”

Pennsylvania’s Small Business Advantage program provides small businesses (those with fewer than 100 employees) with 50-percent matching reimbursement grants of up to $7,500 to implement projects that will save at least 20 percent annually in pollution prevention or energy-related costs. Since 2004, the Small Business Advantage Grant program has invested $6.7 million in 1,220 small businesses.

Examples of eligible projects include HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units that help large trucks reduce time spent with idling engines.

The 90 projects in 40 counties will receive a total of $564,291 and leverage an additional $1.1 million in private investments. In the first year, they will have a cumulative savings of $521,782 in operating expenses related to reductions in energy and pollution. The savings include:

  • 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity–enough to power 130 homes;
  • 110,421 therms of natural gas;
  • 28,000 gallons of propane;
  • 26,000 gallons of kerosene and fuel oil; and
  • 40,741 gallons of diesel fuel.

In addition, the projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly five million pounds, equivalent to the total energy used by 190 homes or removing 425 passenger vehicles from the roads.

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