Greener Pastures: Energy efficiency forum Tuesday teaches business to do all three | VailDaily.com
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Greener Pastures: Energy efficiency forum Tuesday teaches business to do all three

Cassie Pence
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

Running a business is not easy. Making money, keeping employees happy and operating the day-to-day without igniting a major metaphorical fire are enough balls for any hardworking individual to juggle.

But that’s not enough, these days. Just as you’re throwing and catching, throwing and catching, seemingly with ease and your bottom-line looks good, some do-gooder whips one more ball at you to balance – the energy efficiency “green” ball. It’s that elusive ball that promises to save your business money and save the planet at the same time. You want to work it into the act, but it feels as if all the other balls will crash to the ground and bounce around haphazardly, knocking over your coffee mug, to boot.

Fortunately, energy efficiency is not a patented secret like the recipe for the Ever-Lasting Gobstopper. Businesses want to share their energy-saving successes and challenges, because in the end, if all businesses treated the environment as their bottom-line the world would be a better place.

On Tuesday, the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, a local non-profit working hard to make our community more sustainable, will host an Energy Efficiency Business Forum for businesses to do just that: share, listen and learn how to save energy and make more money. The catalyst for the event is the Alliance’s Energy Smart Business program. For free (yes, free), the Alliance’s energy-saving expert John-Ryan Lockman will coach businesses through the energy efficiency process, starting with a free energy audit to determine where your business is using energy and where your business can save energy.

Lockman says his biggest challenge is convincing businesses the program is free.

“They hear ‘green’ and they think it is going to cost them some green,” Lockman says. “The audit is free, my services are free, and if they don’t want to install energy efficient retrofits, we can just help with behavioral changes. By joining the program they are not committed to spending any money.”

About half of the program’s 25 spots are filled with businesses already saving money and energy. After Lockman’s evaluation, The Holiday Inn in West Vail, for example, decided to replace its candelabras (those little lights in chandeliers and sconces that resemble candles) with LED candelabras – cutting edge energy-saving lights that last about 30,000 hours. What energy and money Holiday Inn saves with the Alliance’s program will go into Lockman’s case study. He’ll use that case study to help market and advertise Holiday Inn’s green choices. Helping to tout the businesses green initiatives is another free component of the program.

On Tuesday at the Energy Efficiency Business Forum, Vail Resorts’ Luke Cartin, Sonnenalp’s Melissa Mcloota, and town of Vail’s Kristen Bertuglia will be there to share their energy-saving stories. Lockman will be on hand to answer any questions about the program and to sign businesses up.

Really, Lockman says, it’s about the bottom line, saving money. “Every business should care about that,” he says.

For more information and to register for the event, contact the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability at 970-827-9999 or visit http://www.eaglevalleyalliance.org.

Freelance writer Cassie Pence is passionate about living a more sustainable lifestyle. She and her husband, Captain Vacuum, own Organic Housekeepers, a green cleaning company. Contact her at cassie@organichousekeepers.com.


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