Businesses get smart energy-saving tips

Businesses can boost their bottom lines by bulking up on energy efficiency, representatives of Xcel Energy and other organizations said Thursday.

The “2011 Cost of Doing Nothing” seminar attracted about 50 people to Two Rivers Convention Center to find out how they could take advantage of rebates and other offers from Xcel, which is offering programs in partnership with the Greenback$ program offered by the chambers of commerce in Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade.

The Grand Junction program is the outgrowth of a similar event on the Front Range aimed at larger commercial and industrial users, said Tom Minerick, energy account manager for Xcel.

“Many of our customers on the West Slope and smaller businesses couldn’t make the trip,” so Xcel decided to offer a similar program on the west side of the state, he said.

Greater energy efficiency can translate into cost savings by delaying the need to construct costly plants to generate electricity, Minerick said.

To help businesses reach toward energy efficiency, Xcel offers incentives aimed at encouraging them to invite experts to study their businesses and recommend solutions for better heating and cooling, and more efficient and effective lighting, Minerick said.

In many cases, the businesses would be charged $200 for a $2,000 study aimed at plugging energy holes. Working with the Greenback$ program can reduce the original outlay to zero, Minerick said.

Funds from Mesa County and Grand Junction are available and can reduce the costs for companies that need new equipment, Minerick said.

“We’ll help you get the contractor, check the work and fill out the paperwork for the rebate,” he said.

More information about the program is available at, and information on the chambers’ Greenback$ program is available at


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