No Matter Your Business, There are Ways to Improve Your Energy Footprint: Q&A with Mark Toussaint, Energy Efficiency Consultant, Eversource
A smart business owner is always looking to maximize profits, and that includes the efficient use of energy resources. If you are one of those smart owners you may have already talked to one of your utility’s Energy Efficiency Consultants, such as Mark Toussaint. Mark has helped businesses improve their efficiency throughout NH for 20 years, the last twelve as an Eversource Energy Efficiency Consultant. The NH SBDC works closely with energy consultants like Mark, to ensure that NH businesses have all the resources they need to consider, assess and implement their efficiency projects.
Andrea O’Brien, NH SBDC’s Business Sustainability Program Director had a chance to speak with Mark about business and energy efficiency.
Q: What is the first thing you’d tell a business when talking about energy efficiency?
A: Just as a business needs a business plan to be successful, a business needs an energy plan to save on their energy bill. An energy plan consists of three main parts:
1. Know what your energy bill is, and be familiar with your daily trends in energy usage. This can impact your bill.
2. Determine where the opportunities for improvement are. An energy audit will assess each system like HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, motors, compressors, heating and building envelope and can provide your business with a detailed report on where the most inefficient areas are.
3. Identify what resources are available. Businesses do not have to pursue these projects on their own. There are several resource partners that can support a business along their energy efficiency journey. Their EE support team can include SBDC advisors, their utility, vendors (I think we should add a such as example here), financing professionals such as the NH Community Development Finance Authority and NH Business Finance Authority. There are funding sources that can shorten the payback time on a company’s investment. NH SBDC can help businesses analyze the ROI and can help businesses access finance options.
Q: What should a business consider when thinking about efficiency projects?
A: A business should consider three things:
- Consider the return on investment time. A very good pay back or ROI is 2-3 years.
- How long has it been since energy efficiency was assessed? Five to six years is “long ago” in energy technology and it is time to revisit your energy footprint.
- The facility aesthetic and comfort. Improvements to lighting and HVAC not only help you save on costs, but have been proven to enhance employee comfort and lower absenteeism. Additional considerations are customer comfort and the general aesthetic as an inviting place for customers to shop or receive services.
Q: Are there financing options through Eversource?
A: Yes, Eversource offers a number of low or no interest financing options to help business and municipal customer complete their projects. Based on the customer, type of project and amount needed, we can match the loan option that will work best for the project.
Q: Any other advice you can give to businesses?
A: No matter who you are, there are ways to improve your energy footprint. No matter where you’re located or what energy provider a company uses, the electric and natural gas companies across the state have programs to help businesses become more energy efficient. Visit www.NHSaves.com or contact Andrea O’Brien at the NH SBDC to learn more today.
NH SBDC Business Sustainability Program
The Business Sustainability Program (BSP) provides one-on-one confidential business advising in the areas of energy efficiency assessment and funding, environmental management, emergency planning employee safety, and other issues that impact the sustainability of a business. The goal of the BSP is to help the business owner adopt best management practices to reduce operational risk, increase profitability and therefore, enhance the value of her or his company.