Jan 17 PT Article - Loans can help businesses go green

Business owners looking for energy savings can find support in local organizations.

Through Orillia Power’s Save on Energy program, business owners can apply for up to 70% in financial incentives to go toward energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and other initiatives.

“At times, businesses are unable to afford the remaining cost, putting a stop to their plans,” said Wendy Timpano, general manager at the Community Development Corporation (CDC) in Orillia, and that’s where the CDC’s Green Loan Fund comes in.

“Our CDC Green Loan Fund is to help those businesses cover the remaining costs,” she said. “It’s a really simple application process. We have competitive rates, no legal fees or early payout fees, and the CDC can provide coaching to help businesses look at long-term savings when it comes to energy efficiency and cost effectiveness.”

In particular, the Green Loan Fund is meant for anything that makes a business green, said Timpano. It could be an initiative to reduce the use of plastic, such as straws, or it could be aimed at reducing the use of Styrofoam containers or upgrading to LED lights or energy-efficient equipment.

Businesses can choose to apply only for the Green Loan Fund for support, such as implementing staff training programs that increase green practices.

“When you talk about larger companies, it can take a lot of time and energy and investment to make sure there is an internal communications strategy and training for employees,” said Timpano. “Just managing such a program may need additional resources a business may not have.”

But business owners are encouraged to seek out information before they take any steps toward achieving their energy-efficiency goals, she said.

“We always encourage people to come in and speak to us or Orillia Power before they start the work, because you have to be approved for incentives before you start the work.”

Another way of gathering information before submitting an application is through information sessions at the CDC, such as the one being held Feb. 16.

Grow Your Business Green is a workshop being hosted by the CDC in collaboration with Explore Lake Simcoe, the Oro-Medonte Chamber of Commerce and Orillia Power.

The information session is being offered to businesses and organizations that want to learn about free resources and financial support for their green initiatives.

Topics will include accessing financial incentive programs, waste reduction, energy efficiency, minimizing environmental impact and how these efforts may lead to cost savings.

To learn more about Save on Energy incentives, email Orillia Power at [email protected] or visit saveonenergy.ca. For more information on the Green Loan Fund, or to download the application, visit orilliacdc.com/loan-grant-applications or call Susan Stacey, CDC loans officer, at 705-325-4903, ext. 105.

Source: Packet & Times