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Saving Energy the Salvation of Companies In Slow Times

Saving energy may be the salvation for many companies in slow times. Green energy is about saving costs as well as emissions.

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Coping with Economic Downturns and Slow Growth

On March 16, 2008, Bruce Mulliken of Green Energy News stated, "Saving energy may be the salvation for many companies in slow times."

Green energy is about saving costs as well as emissions. Natural lighting, reduced lighting energy with use of high-efficiency fixtures and bulbs, high-efficiency vehicles... going green "stands out as a bright spot in an otherwise cloudy economic picture."

Green sector companies get attention and funding when oil prices spike, and with both investment financing and oil hitting rough patches at the same time, the whole world is looking to "buy less, buy better." And that means high performance and lower operating costs.

Operating Efficiencies Save Money and Jobs

Our work with small companies finds managers who are interested more in operating efficiencies than rebates. It often seems that large corporations and public agencies are the ones who can benefit from green rebates due to leveraging initial experiments over many applications.

Small Business Efficiency Strategies

Small companies often don't have that luxury or strategic approach. For them, the first deployment is the meat and potatoes of the savings, and that means that operational efficiency is much more important than an initial rebate or incentive.

And we're back to "buy less, buy better" when it is necessary to replace or upgrade equipment.

Small Green Businesses Can Market Higher Performance

Small green companies who are marketing to large enterprises will feel the impact of financial woes and if they have products that are in line with competitive capital outlays, but offer higher performance -- they could be in a sweet spot in 2008.

The research that takes place in the "chasm" of technology product life cycles is done. The results are in. Energy conservation is the low-hanging fruit of cost reductions.

Whether it is reduction of BUILDING energy use, or TRANSPORTATION fuel use, the technologies are here, they are tested, and they maximize operational savings that mount as business grows, and shrink as business shrinks. That' the secret to focusing on operations.

State Mandates for Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)

Mid 2007 is a midpoint for state interest in renewable energy portfolio standards. The tipping point of 29 states had enacted renewable portfolio standards (RPS). With laws in place, utility companies in those states have been building a continual flow of new renewable projects to meet the compliance mandates or face penalties.

Economic Development Looking for Green Businesses and Green Strategies

Economic development is getting interested, too. California's local economic developers are for the first time taking an interest in green businesses, and focusing on green companies at their annual conference.

Cities are trying to build and attract green industries and research by financially supporting innovation to subsidizing new factories and creating non-monetary incentives to smooth the way for new green projects. Many states, with California as one of the leaders, see green as the next wave of technological innovation that creates new global business opportunities and new jobs. And jobs are the currency of the public sector.

Federal Support of Renewables and Energy Efficiency

"The Bush Administration is keenly interested in renewables and energy efficiency. But it wants to support the development and commercialization of technologies, not mandate emission cuts. Evidence of this came into this editor’s e-mail inbox in the form of a tidal wave of funding opportunity notices. The vast majority of the 39 NEW notices now posted in the Green Energy News website are from federal agencies seeking everything from innovation to outreach programs in some way to support the development of renewables and promote energy efficiency. Of the 65 total notices now posted, more than half are from federal government agencies under the long arm of the White House. Cumulatively there are hundreds of millions of dollars available within dozens of solicitations." Green Energy News

States and Cities Mandate Emission Cuts

While the federal government isn't mandating emission cuts -- the states and cities are mandating them, and California's Air Resource Board is aggressively fining companies for their transgressions -- especially in the diesel vehicle testing and upfitting arena.

Venture capital money is flowing from the wealthiest sectors of political supporters into energy investment opportunities. Politicians are aware of this phenomenon.

The remaining Presidential candidates are committing to take action on the closely coupled climate and energy crises. Whoever wins will play with funding, tax schemes, and regulations to add green power and cut emissions. Building energy security through renewables and energy efficiency will also be on their national security agenda.

Corporations Upgrade Building Efficiency

Major corporations have been busy upgrading their building efficiency with green building and energy efficiency. They are now turning to their fleets of corporate cars and trucks. Technologies include plug-in hybrids, aerodynamics, high-performance tires, idling strategies, and even route and load optimization.

Coca Cola and Duke Energy are just two of the leaders in the green fleet vanguard. Auto makers such as Honda, Toyota and GM are carefully monitoring the move to greener fleet demand.

Read more about green energy and the economy at:
Green Energy News
News and commentary related to clean, efficient and renewable energy for transportation, industry, government and home.
Green Energy News Inc.
311 Greenlow Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21228

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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