Lime Energy Co. has been awarded a funding agreement by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to design and deliver “Achieving Energy Efficiency in Small Businesses in Low-Income Areas,” an energy efficiency program for low-income communities.
As part of this collaboration, the DOE will invest $1.35 million to help Lime Energy engage 10,000 small businesses and complete 2,500 small business energy efficiency retrofit projects in low-income areas in Atlanta, Orlando and Houston.
Lime Energy will partner with the Institute for Market Transformation, a national building energy performance policy and outreach organization based in Washington, D.C. Lime Energy will also partner with the Houston Advanced Research Center in Texas, and with a wide variety of regional and local energy alliances, business associations, and grassroots community organizations to launch an intensive outreach program to penetrate these low-income areas.
This project team will also engage local governments to coordinate efforts on the ground. These partnerships will result in a scalable, community based strategy that will serve groups of buildings and consumers infrequently reached in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Participating small businesses will receive Lime Energy’s turn-key energy efficiency services including a full energy assessment, presentation of an immediate on-site proposal, and the installation of new energy efficiency equipment.
In addition to this baseline service, the DOE grant will allow Lime Energy to offer a performance-based contract that minimizes risk for small businesses by measuring and verifying their energy savings using advanced metering technology and a user friendly mobile app.
“Buildings in low-income communities face multiple technical and financial challenges to deploying energy efficiency solutions,” said Dr. Jason Hartke, Manager, Commercial Buildings Integration Program, U.S. Department of Energy. “We are pleased to support Lime Energy in its efforts to address these barriers, particularly those obstacles faced by small businesses, through the development and implementation of scalable energy efficiency options in communities that can benefit greatly from these energy saving measures.”
With these investments from Lime Energy and the DOE, dozens of local jobs will be directly created in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. In addition to these direct jobs, the estimated $30 million in energy savings realized by the targeted small businesses will function as reinvestment in these communities, resulting in numerous indirect jobs and economic activity. In addition to the economic impact, these projects are expected to eliminate approximately 17,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases over a three-year period, creating a cleaner and safer environment for local residents. This revolutionary project will bring innumerable benefits to these low income communities, making them more efficient, more prosperous, and better places to live and work.