Report: Local Chambers as Change Agents

As the trusted voice for millions of American businesses, local chambers of commerce have shaped the economic vitality of cities and towns for more than a century. Today, local chambers are helping businesses address big challenges in our energy landscape: a slowly recovering economy, volatile energy prices, global competition in manufacturing and technology development, and aging electric grids. Throughout the nation, chambers are turning to clean energy and innovation as practical and profitable tools to address these challenges.

Local Chambers as Change Agents: Creating Economic Vitality through Clean Energy and Innovation provides the first comprehensive look into how local chambers are attracting investment, supporting business growth, and diversifying their local economies around clean energy and energy efficiency. With ten in-depth case studies, the report shows how chambers are helping their businesses save millions through energy efficiency, establishing demonstration sites for renewable energy technologies, leading the charge to modernize the electric grid, and more.

Download the full report here

Download individual chamber case studies below:

OHIO: Cleveland’s One-Stop Shop for Energy Efficiency
(Council of Smaller Enterprises, Greater Cleveland Partnership)

With its leading energy efficiency program, the Council of Smaller
Enterprises—the local chamber’s small business partner—helped
member companies realize more than $13.4 million in energy efficiency
savings in 2012 alone.

NORTH CAROLINA: Filling Available Shipping Space
(Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce)

Through its Western North Carolina Transportation Alliance, the
Asheville Area Chamber helps manufacturers coordinate shipping
routes with other companies throughout the state, saving more
than 44,000 gallons of fuel in 2011.

CaseStudy_COSE ILLINOIS: Modernizing Chicago’s Electric Grid
(Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce)

As the home to big energy users like Groupon and the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange, Chicago needs reliable energy. The Chicagoland
Chamber led a broad coalition to advocate for smart grid legislation in
Illinois, putting the state and its electric grid on the path to meet the
growing energy needs of Chicago businesses.

CaseStudy_NMB SOUTH CAROLINA: Reaping the Wind
(North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce)

In this coastal tourist town, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber
championed a project to transform its community into a wind
energy demonstration site, creating a test bed for entrepreneurs
and sharing data to help train local engineering students.

CaseStudy_Austin TEXAS: Building a National Clean-Tech Hub in Oil Country
(Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce)

Leveraging its close ties to The University of Texas and the city’s
municipally owned utility, the Chamber recruited 20 clean-tech
companies to date, and co-founded Pecan Street Inc., a cutting-edge
demonstration site for smart-grid entrepreneurs.

CaseStudy_Merrimack MASSACHUSETTS: Power Use Down, Profits Up
(Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Thanks to the chamber’s innovative Clean Energy Program,
46 companies in Northeast Massachusetts will save more than $30 million
collectively over the next 30 years through energy efficiency and on-site
renewable energy generation.

CaseStudy_SaltLakeCity UTAH: Fuel Savings and Cleaner Air in Salt Lake City
(Salt Lake Chamber)

With Salt Lake City’s poor air quality hurting business attraction and
retention, the Salt Lake Chamber worked with local companies to cut
fuel use and boost their bottom lines. The program has brought about
millions of dollars in savings.

CaseStudy_Bartlett TENNESSEE: Teaming Up for Energy Efficiency
(Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce)

Headed by a former Marine, the Bartlett Chamber’s Team Green
Zone is on a mission to help companies cut their energy use and
costs. Team Green Zone has already helped 43 companies implement
efficiency projects valued at $5.5 million.

CaseStudy_FlintGenesee MICHIGAN: Sparking Clean Energy Connections
(Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce)

The new chamber-led E3 Innovation Network in Flint, Michigan, is
helping all stakeholders interested in energy savings—from fleet-holders
with large energy demands to clean-tech innovators—network to find
new business opportunities.

CaseStudySF CALIFORNIA: Fast-Tracking New Jobs with High-Speed Rail
(San Francisco Chamber of Commerce)

The San Francisco Chamber led business advocacy efforts for statewide
high-speed rail, with the goal of spurring economic development near transit
centers and all along the rail line. California approved a high-speed rail ballot
measure in 2008.

Should your chamber be featured in our next publication? Tell us about your clean energy story here.