Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program
Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, accounting for nearly half of the nation’s employment (58.9 million) and GDP. The current economic crisis induced by COVID-19 has spared no sector, hitting small businesses the hardest. The energy efficiency workforce – the vast majority of which are employed by small-to-medium sized businesses – was immediately and indefinitely sidelined due to health and safety restrictions. The result is that many more energy efficiency workers lost their jobs in March than in any other segment of the clean energy workforce, and that number is expected to climb.
Working with impacted stakeholders, the Alliance identified a means of rapidly kickstarting the U.S. economy by delivering energy savings to small businesses, by small businesses with the Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program (SBEEG).
How does the SBEEG program work?
The SBEEG program would be administered through the Department of Energy to inject $6 billion into small businesses to make energy efficiency improvements that will reduce their utility bills right away and long into the future, at zero cost to the small business customer. The federal funding would be delivered to small businesses through utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs, allowing taxpayer dollars to be highly leveraged with utility incentives. By utilizing the DSM workforce infrastructure that already exists, the program also would renew and/or create jobs within the 1.3 million-strong workforce that supports utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs.
Details of the program structure can be found here.
Benefits of the SBEEG program
- The ecosystem of DSM energy service providers, electricians, and skilled and unskilled labor, which represents a workforce of approximately 1.3 million across the nation, can get back to work quickly.
- Small businesses will receive zero-cost energy efficiency upgrades, which will help them recover from the economic shutdown by lowering their utility bills immediately and well into the future.
- Small business participation rates will increase from as little as 2% to as much as 90% of such customers by covering the full costs of the energy efficiency project.
- Energy consumption in America’s small businesses will be reduced, which can typically consume between 40 to 50% of a utility’s load.
- The health, safety, comfort, and productivity of occupants of small commercial spaces will be improved.
- The program will help utilities to recover from the economic crisis and help the overall economy to recover by lowering demand and increasing energy productivity.
- It will also help states meet increasingly aggressive goals for energy demand and carbon emissions reduction.
Learn more about SBEEG
- See who’s endorsing the SBEEG & learn how you can join the impressive list of endorsing organizations
- Find out how the SBEEG program will stimulate jobs and energy savings.
- Have a question? Read our FAQs – perhaps we’ve already answered it!
- Download and share infographics on SBEEG
- Check out Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Co-Director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and John Di Stasio, President of the Large Public Power Council's op-ed in Utility Dive: The (energy) efficient road to small business recovery
- Read our blog on how we can stimulate the economy through the SBEEG
- Read our guest blog from Adam Procell, Lime Energy President & CEO on the need for small business EE programs
- Learn how devasting the COVID-19 pandemic has been on EE jobs in a report from E2