It Pays to Hug a Tree

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green incentives lake business magazine akers media group lake county florida

Sure, we all want to save the planet, but going green is more than good for the environment; it also makes good business sense.

For one, adopting green initiatives can create a buzz that could generate marketing hype and get people talking about you and your business. That could translate into new clients  without you expending blood, sweat, tears or dollars.

Plus, it’s easy to go green. Even small businesses can reduce, reuse and recycle or install energy-efficient lighting and programmable thermostats.

Want to make a bigger impact? Consider energy efficient products such as tankless water heaters, non-traditional HVAC systems or solar energy panels.

Yes, going green can get expensive. But incentives and tax breaks exist. Take advantage of them to modernize, aid the environment and save money in the process. Here’s an overview of programs available locally:

HVAC Check
Chiller/​Unitary
Entity: Duke Energy
Nuts & Bolts: Duke offers a variety of rebates for businesses that install a more efficient unitary AC or water- or air-cooled chiller. They offer installation incentives of up to $150 per kW reduced (up to a maximum of $75,000). Rebates range from $94 to $13,000 per system.
Example incentive: An office facility replacing a 300-ton centrifugal water-cooled chiller could save $4,915 annually and earn a rebate of $1,350.

Green Roof
Entity: Duke Energy
Nuts & Bolts: A green roof planted with up to 6 inches of small grasses or a garden could save you up to 20 percent of water and energy costs annually and earn you an incentive of 25 cents per square foot. The plants act as a sponge, to reduce the amount of water and pollutants that run off your roof. For more information on green roof technology, visit greenroofs.org.
Example Incentive: A 10,000-square-foot facility could save $2,164 in energy cost and around $600 in water cost annually and earn an incentive of $2,500.

Thermal Energy Storage
Entity: Duke Energy
Nuts & Bolts: A TES system will reduce the size and cost of replacement chillers and lower your energy costs by shifting most energy usage to off-peak hours. You could qualify for an incentive of up to $300 per kW of reduced cooling load at peak times.
Example Incentive: A 200,000​-square-foot facility installing a TES system handling 50 percent of cooling load could save $24,000 annually and earn an incentive of $60,000.

Renewable Energy Tax Incentives and The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies (REET) Grant Matching Program
Entity: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Nuts & Bolts: Receive matching funds to conduct demonstration, commercialization, research, and development projects relating to renewable energy technologies and innovative technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency for vehicles and commercial buildings.

Green certification known as LEED
Entity: The United States Green Building Council.
Nuts & Bolts: LEED-certified buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants while promoting renewable, clean energy. The state energy office and local utilities are the most common sources of incentives, rebates and technical assistance available to offset green building costs.  Also offers grants to increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings.

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