U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Saturday, June 19, 2010

Small Business E-Update

ENERGY STAR® Small Business  E-Update
June 2010
EPA Response to BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has become a focal point of activity for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can keep up with the facts and the response at a special Web site established by EPA. It includes sections to help Learn the Issues, Science and Technology, and Laws and Regulations. There is also information on Air, Water, Sediment, and Waste Management, all of which are monitored daily. There is a way to submit your technological suggestions, plus ways to ask questions and become better informed. Visit for complete information.
You can travel "green" this summer if you look for hotels that have earned EPA's ENERGY STAR. Their carbon footprint is, on average, 35 percent smaller than other hotels and they perform in the top 25 percent of hotels nationwide for energy efficiency. You can find hotels by location that have earned the ENERGY STAR at . You can also search on , or AAA's TourBook, all of which designate hotels that have earned the ENERGY STAR.  For more details see the EPA press release or learn more about ENERGY STAR and the lodging industry at
EPA Offers Cooling Tips for Every Budget this Summer
EPA's ENERGY STAR program offers low- to no-cost energy-efficient cooling tips to beat the heat.  Cooling can be a major portion of summer utility bills and by taking steps this summer to improve energy-efficiency, you can save energy, save money, and help fight climate change.  The story is the same at home or work. For information about your home see the EPA press release (with tips). Or for information for your small business, check out"Countdown to Cool."
EPA Challenges Manufacturing Industry to Improve Energy Efficiency
EPA has recognized the first group of manufacturing sites that have met the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry and reduced their energy intensity by 10% within 5 years or less. The U.S. manufacturing industry is responsible for nearly 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and spends almost $100 billion annually on energy. Under the umbrella of the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, EPA is working with individual manufacturing sites and their parent companies to fight climate change through improvements in energy efficiency. See the EPA Press Release for details or learn more at
Building Performance with ENERGY STAR Pilot Offers New Whole Building Efficiency Platform
In partnership with several states and utilities, the EPA announced a new pilot program designed to further improve commercial building energy efficiency. Building Performance with ENERGY STAR will help utilities and state energy efficiency programs achieve increased energy savings by strategically pursuing whole building energy improvements with their business customers. The pilot program is being launched with ENERGY STAR partners Commonwealth Edison, Mass Save, MidAmerican, National Grid, the New Jersey's Clean Energy Program, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and Focus on Energy. For details see the EPA press release or the press overview factsheet 
Data Centers Can Now Earn ENERGY STAR® Label
Stand-alone data centers and buildings that house large data centers can now earn the ENERGY STAR label. To earn the label, data centers must be in the top 25% of their peers in energy efficiency according to EPA's energy performance scale. By improving efficiency, centers can save energy and money and help fight climate change. The program uses power usage effectiveness (PUE) as a measure to gauge the efficiency of a computing facility. EPA's scale of 1 to 100 also takes into account other building and operating characteristics. Buildings that receive a score of 75 or higher are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR label, the national symbol of energy efficiency. Data Center owners can begin the process to get their facilities rated by using Portfolio Manager, EPA's free, on-line benchmarking tool. For more details see the EPA press release or visit
Idaho SBDC Provides Energy-Efficiency Evaluations for Small Business
The Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) continues to grow its Energy Efficiency Program. By training student interns, the Center recently evaluated 28 facilities representing 35 businesses. Previously trained students have been hired to provide evaluations during the summer and the program will expand into northern Idaho in the fall. Small businesses can register by going to The Energy Policy Institute has completed a project report, Energy Efficiency Financing Mechanisms. This report examines programs in other states and serves as a foundation for further discussion. The primary barrier for small businesses to implementation of energy efficiency measures is upfront capital.
Company to Save Millions with Vending Machine Upgrade
The Dr Pepper Snapple Group is set to launch an overhaul of its vending machines and coolers, replacing 60,000 machines with more energy-efficient ENERGY STAR-approved models. The move will save the beverage giant an estimated $7.6 million in electricity costs annually. For more details see the article in
New DOE Site: Energy Empowers, Focuses on Clean Energy Successes
The Department of Energy (DOE) under the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) sector has established an Energy Empowers Web site to provide a news service capturing the hearts and minds of people building America's clean energy economy. The service is seeking to tell the stories and give a glimpse of how Americans are building the country's new energy economy­­--by improving efficiency, by building sustainable businesses that create new jobs, and by dusting off age-old skills and using them in new ways to generate clean energy. Visit the Energy Empowers site for more information.
National Research Council Issues America's Climate Choices Reports
The National Research Council (NRC) has issued three reports emphasizing why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The reports, published by the Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, are part of a congressionally requested suite of five studies known as America's Climate Choices.  The reports deal with advancing science to study climate change, limiting the magnitude and adapting to the impacts. Visit the NRC Web site. You can download a summary of the reports or purchase each of the entire publications.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) Get Ready to Shine
A new study from Pike Research forecasts that LEDs will account for almost half of a $4.4 billion market for lamps in the commercial, industrial and outdoor stationary sectors by 2020. Almost 18 percent of global electricity use goes toward lighting, and lighting in the U.S. consumes a fifth of the amount at an annual cost of more than $40 billion. LEDs present an opportunity to cut expenses and reduce electricity use since they consume less energy and last far longer when producing the same amount of light as traditional bulbs. For a round-up of some the latest advances on the LED front see
Ten Green Nonprofits That Can Help Small Businesses
Small businesses that want to make their operations leaner and greener are discovering the resources and expertise that non-profit environmental groups can offer them. Although the 10 non-profit groups profiled in an article from offer everything from general sustainable-business advice to specific carbon-measurement and source-tracking tools, a first place to look is always the EPA's ENERGY STAR web pages. When it comes to energy efficiency, there is no greater source of free information and guidance, tools, and even ways to get free technical support. Whether you start at www.energystar/gov/smbiz, or the Buildings and Plants home page, or ENERGY STAR home, there is plenty to get you started and keep you going.
Featured Product of the Month: Programmable Thermostats

A programmable thermostat helps you save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Now ENERGY STAR offers a programmable thermostat tool to help you learn how to use the thermostat most efficiently, saving money and energy along the way.

Interact with ENERGY STAR's programmable thermostat tool to learn how to use your thermostat most efficiently, saving money and energy along the way. Learn More

The programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways you can save energy, money and help fight climate change. The pre-programmed settings that come with programmable thermostats are intended to deliver savings without sacrificing comfort. The key is to establish a program that automatically reduces heating and cooling in your home when you don't need it as much. For more information on programmable thermostats, visit the product pages.

2009 Featured Award Winner of the Month: South Coast Mold, Inc., Irvine, CA

South Coast Mold, Inc., has realized a 20% reduction in energy usage during a period of record revenues and the addition of equipment to increase capacity. The company, which just celebrated its 35th anniversary, is a tool and die job shop for the precision casting industry. Although small, with just eight employees, the firm is a medium-duty electric user, heightening the importance of energy management and efficiency to operating success. According the Paul Novak, president, three major events motivated the firm to develop an energy-saving strategy: 1. The California electric crisis of 2000-01 with rolling blackouts, erratic supply and price spikes; 2. A 2005 move that doubled manufacturing size and the electric bill; 3. The 2007 global oil and energy crisis with dramatic cost increases. South Coast Mold developed their strategy by working with ENERGY STAR resources and with Southern California Edison (SCE), their local utility. Four sectors were selected and improvements made in each. Novak says his company made improvements in lighting, office, HVAC, and CNC equipment. To learn about the improvements in each of these areas and how costs were decreased as company growth continued, visit the winners web pages.