Small business frequently asked questions

General information

Who can participate in ENERGY STAR for small business?

Any public or private organization can partner with EPA to improve its facilities by committing to continuous improvement of its energy efficiency. Join the ENERGY STAR Small Business Network or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES and ask for “technical support” to start saving money.

How much can I save?

Depending on your facility’s operating hours, condition, equipment and energy costs, savings of 25 percent or higher are typical. We can help you decide on a strategy that optimizes savings and upgrade costs, and help design an upgrade that quickly pays for itself, and then yields monthly cost reductions.

Does ENERGY STAR supply upgrade funding?

No, but visit our section on finding financing for places to check for rebates, incentives, and other financing mechanisms.

Does ENERGY STAR require me to submit reports or undergo inspections?

No. However, you can choose to voluntarily share information for a success story. If you have a story to share, email us at epasmallbiz@energyandsecurity.com.

I run my business from my home. Can I still join?

Yes, ENERGY STAR for small business has a number of partners that work from home. You can find more information relating to home office energy efficiency on our home-based business page.

I’m a tenant, so I don’t own my space. Can I still save money through energy efficiency?

Yes, check out our webpage for renters and tenants for energy-saving tips and information.

Aren’t energy efficiency upgrades costly and difficult to implement?

No. Done properly, energy efficiency upgrades can provide a positive cash flow right from the beginning. For specific low-cost and no-cost upgrade options, check out technical resources for small businesses.

Doesn’t energy-efficient lighting mean lower quality light?

No. If done properly, your lighting quality will actually improve as you save money. For more information on energy-efficient lighting check out pages 33–46 of the Putting Energy Into Profits: ENERGY STAR for Small Business Guide.

Who can I contact for assistance on environmental compliance?

Please contact the EPA’s Small Business Ombudsman service for guidance and explanations of environmental regulations. This service can be reached at their toll-free hotline (1-800-368-5888) or at EPA’s Small Business Ombudsman.

I’m a reporter. Can I include the ENERGY STAR logo in my article; and what are the guidelines for its usage? And who can I contact for more information?

ENERGY STAR is a registered trademark of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As such, EPA monitors and enforces strict guidelines on the use of the ENERGY STAR name and logo. Read the ENERGY STAR Identity Guidelines first to make sure you are in compliance. Then visit our press room  to download graphics and find details about the program. You can also contact an EPA press officer for more information.

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Getting started

How do I get started?

You can get started by joining ENERGY STAR for Small Business.

Who can help me perform energy efficiency upgrades?

To get information on who can help you perform your energy efficiency upgrades, visit our section on getting help from an expert.

How do I get my business facility surveyed to determine potential savings and the cost to upgrade equipment?

For information on getting your business assessed, contact your local utility about performing a assessment.

Where can I find funding or financial incentives/rebates?

For information on funding, including financial incentives and rebates, please see our section on finding financing for energy-saving projects.

How can I find the most efficient alternative to replace my equipment and where can I purchase it? Or where can I buy ENERGY STAR certified products?

Visit our online ENERGY STAR certified products page and store locator, where you can search for a variety of energy-efficient products. We also recommend looking at the Putting Energy into Profits: ENERGY STAR for Small Business Guide.

Should I replace old equipment with more efficient versions only when the old equipment breaks?

No. In some cases, it may be cost effective to replace your current operating equipment immediately. However, to determine if this option is right for you, contact your local service and product provider.

I want to start a business. Where can I find information on start-up funds or business loans?

We recommend that you start with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office for start-up and financial information. Go to the SBA website and select the “Financing Your Business” button for detailed information. Your local SBA office can be located by choosing the “Your Local SBA Offices” button. This will bring up a map of the United States. Then select your state.

In addition, you may want to check with the EPA Small Business Ombudsman service for guidance and explanations of environmental regulations. This service can be reached at EPA’s Small Business Ombudsman.

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Getting recognized

How can I get recognized for the work I have done recognize the good job an energy service and product provider did on my facility?

If you have a story to tell, please contact us at: epasmallbiz@energyandsecurity.com.

How can I promote ENERGY STAR?

There are several ways you can promote your commitment to saving energy with ENERGY STAR.

  • Once you’ve joined the ENERGY STAR Small Business Network, use the ENERGY STAR promotional mark on your website and marketing materials. It’s recognized by more than 85 percent of the American public, so it’s a great way to show that you’re committed to being an environmental leader through energy efficiency.
  • Consider entering your building in EPA’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition, which pits commercial buildings from across the United States in a contest to see who can reduce their energy waste the most. Top performers and participants that save 20 percent or more are eligible for EPA recognition.
  • Check out the ENERGY STAR communications toolkit for ideas and templates for spreading the word about saving energy.
  • You can also call us toll-free at 1-888-STAR-YES and ask for ENERGY STAR for small business brochures.

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