SBA 504 Loan Program for Energy Efficiency Projects

June 3, 2009

The Small Business Administration has a plan to help small business and encourage energy upgrades to buildings. If you do an energy audit and show an action plan to improve energy efficiency the SBA will double the size of the loan that they will guarantee. Normally, lenders benefits from up to a $2 million loan guaranty, now under the new SBA 504 Loan Program for Energy Efficiency Projects, SBA Lenders will benefit from as much as a $4 million loan guaranty. SBA Loans are far better than conventional loans as they allow for up to 90% leverage have low rates.

To qualify for the additional loan amount the borrower will need to show a detailed plan on how they will increase their energy efficiency by 10% or install a renewable energy source. To accomplish the former, the borrower will need an energy audit of their current building and a plan projecting future energy usage. The energy audit and the action plan are provided by energy engineering firms such as Partner Energy.

Of course, he borrower must implement the plan, but 10% energy efficiency improvement is easily achievable. The Energy Audit will likely reveal several relatively inexpensive ways to improve energy usage and the borrower’s investments will likely have payback periods of less than 5 years.

For SBA loans over $5 million, the SBA 504 Loan Program for Energy Efficiency is a great deal. The borrower gets a great loan in terms of leverage and rate and is required to make a inexpensive investments in their building in return.


Carbon Footprint for Businesses

January 23, 2009

Carbon footprinting can be done for a business, a project, an event, or a household.   At Carbon Partner we focus on business, project, and event carbon footprints.  The first thing that our engineers seek to determine is the boundary that will define the carbon footprint.  

When doing a business carbon footprint, Carbon Partner (a sister company of Partner Engineering and Science) will first seek to define the boundaries of the business.  For example, will the footprint include employee commutes or just activities that happen within the business?   The next scoping issue is how to handle direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions.   All carbon footprints should cover direct emission and most cover energy based indirect emissions.   However, some drive upstream into the carbon footprints of suppliers and raw materials. 

Most of our clients are interested in doing what is best for the planet; however, there are many direct benefits to your business from conducting a carbon footprint.  First, understanding your carbon footprint is important in building a sustainable business.  Secondly, a carbon footprint report helps a client understand how they use energy and often produces surprising results and energy saving opportunities.   Finally, many clients are interested in branding green internally and externally.  

Regardless of the motives, doing a carbon footprint for your business is good for your business.  Go to www.carbon-partner.com to learn more.


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