How Energy Star Products are Saving Government, Business Big Bucks

Image via Flickr by Cummings Properties

Replacing HVAC units, electrical equipment, lighting, hardware, and cleaning equipment sounds like an expensive prospect, especially for businesses struggling to recover from the recent economic recession. However, those businesses taking advantage of Energy Star products save money and increase profits in several ways.

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Situation

A struggling economy, rising energy costs, increased pressure from environmental groups, and stricter regulations by the EPA and other federal and state agencies are putting pressure on businesses and governments to find ways to consume less energy and produce lower emissions during operations.

In a recent survey by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council concluded 41 percent of businesses were hiring less due to rising energy costs, 22 percent had to cut back on the work hours of employees due to energy prices, and 40 percent have increased their prices to compensate for energy costs. Forty three percent of small businesses fear going out of business if energy prices continue to rise. Clearly, something needed to be done.

Approach

The federal government began initiatives to address these problems, including tax incentives for purchasing Energy Star products. Tax credits are so alluring to businesses and governments that 21 states plus the District of Columbia have passed mandatory Energy Star purchasing requirements. These purchasing requirements extend to state buildings and agencies, as well as state-funded college campuses and other operations.

In addition to the tax credits offered for businesses employing green technologies, the federal government offers special tax incentives on Energy Star product purchases for builders (home and commercial), manufacturing companies, and any company operating fleet vehicles.

Impact and Advantage

Overall, companies see three to ten percent savings on energy bills by using Energy Star products. In many cases, these products can pay for themselves in energy savings in a few years.

Energy Star products are more efficient, usually resulting in better performance while costing less to operate. This is a win-win solution for companies and governments, allowing them to get the best performance while keeping costs low. Additionally, Energy Star products come with the most advanced features.

Energy Star products are made with eco-friendly materials, and also produce fewer toxic particulates. These two benefits combined translate into fewer sick workers, higher productivity, and lower healthcare costs for businesses and governments. Carbon emissions (CO2) are among the most dangerous emissions, to both workers and to the environment. Energy Star products have lowered emissions by an estimated 1.8 billion metric tons.

Politicians and businesses also reap rewards in the public eye from using Energy Star products. Nevada’s Green Alliance is just one such example of how a state can garner public appreciation with environmentally conscious programs and initiatives.

Sears, Raytheon, USAA Real Estate, LIPA and many other companies have used their Energy Star ratings and awards to boost their marketing and public relations campaigns. Adopting these policies can also help clean up the public images of businesses which have been cited for environmental problems in the past, such as the manufacturing industry.

During this period of economic recovery, governments and businesses are using Energy Star products to lower costs and improve profit margins while protecting the environment that sustains us all. [/show_to]

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