Environmental Management Assistance Program
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Energy

All small businesses are encouraged to conserve energy, become more energy efficient, and consider the use of alternative or renewable energy sources.

Embracing a sustainable means of transportation is also an innovative way for your small business to stay ahead of the curve as Pennsylvania and the country continue to address critical infrastructure issues.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The most fundamental solution to all of our society’s energy issues—from the rising price of energy to climate change to our dependence on foreign oil—is to use less energy. It has been suggested that simply improving energy efficiency can meet more of our state’s energy needs than all new sources of energy combined. 

Take advantage of the incentives currently being offered including grants, rebates and tax credits. This is a great time to evaluate and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at your business.

Improving efficiency can also save most businesses an average of 25% on energy costs while streamlining operations, improving the work environment—even improving public relations.

Strategies to improve your energy efficiency fall into a few basic categories:

  • Improve materials and equipment, such as high-efficiency lighting, updated HVAC, ENERGY STAR-rated office equipment, etc.
  • Eliminate energy waste through lean manufacturing, building improvements, better insulation, and repairing old & ineffective equipment.
  • Reduce usage through common sense by turning off lights and equipment, removing unnecessary lights and appliances, closing windows, etc.

Renewable energy, such as solar, geothermal (ground-source heat pumps) or wind, can also provide your business with energy that is clean and, over the long term, inexpensive.

Using cleaner and more efficient means of transportation can lower your carbon footprint, reduce costs associated with fluctuating energy prices at the pump, and could make your business eligible to receive incentives for utilizing alternative means of transportation. 

  • Solar

    There are currently two practical applications of solar energy available to businesses:

    • Photovoltaic (PV) cells, which use the sun’s energy to generate electricity
    • Solar Thermal systems, which use the sun’s energy to heat water directly for use in a building.
  • Geothermal

    The term “geothermal” more accurately describes the use of underground thermal features to provide heat in volcanic areas. For Pennsylvania, the technology available is best called a ground source heat pump. These devices function just like ordinary (air source) heat pumps, providing heat during the winter and cooling during the summer.

  • Wind

    Wind power has enjoyed tremendous growth at the utility scale. Small wind turbine installations may make sense for some small businesses that meet specific criteria for physical location, prevailing winds, favorable local ordinances, and affordable connectivity to the utility grid.

  • Electric Vehicles

    As the country and state begin to build out its infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs), it might make sense for your small business to consider purchasing an EV and installing an electric charging station.

  • Waste-to-Energy

    Solid waste, wet waste, and gaseous waste streams are potential high-impact resources for the domestic production of biofuels, bioproduct precursors, heat, and electricity. Wastes represent a significant and underutilized set of feedstocks for renewable fuel and product generation.

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    Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC.  He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management.  He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
    In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.
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