Strengthening Area Businesses Through Energy Efficiency

Illinois Chamber Insists on Local Contractors for Utility Program

Steve Brody, the Executive Director of Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce in Illinois, did not need much convincing when he was approached by Ameren Illinois to help promote an energy efficiency retrofit program for area businesses. He was, however, adamant that Ameren identify local contractors to do the required energy audits.

“If you want our chamber to participate in this,” Brody said, “you need to get a Galesburg business involved. We want to have Galesburg businesses helping Galesburg businesses.”

Ameren found several local vendors. The chamber organized a “Galesburg on the Go” chamber luncheon about the program. The chamber itself also signed up for a free audit and ended up having virtually all of its lighting replaced at very low cost.

Overall 52 area businesses had free audits and received more than $216,000 in cash incentives to implement 79 retrofit projects that are projected to save a quarter of a million dollars. Last month, the City of Galesburg was presented with the ActOnEnergy 2013 Most Progressive City Award for embracing the efficiency program.

The Galesburg chamber is constantly looking for ways to make area businesses stronger, more profitable, Brody said. “A business needs to be as profitable as possible,” he added. “If you can be as energy efficient as possible, that goes a long way to making your business profitable.”

Interested in replicating the Galesburg program? An article about the Galesburg experience can be found here. The Galesburg chamber is here. Ameren Illinois ActonEnergy program can be found here.