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Small Retailers in Connecticut Urged to Get Smart About Energy Efficiency

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Tim Phelan of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association.

Small retailers in the state are being urged to save money on utility bills this winter, beginning with a free energy audit. The Connecticut Retail Merchants Association is running a program in conjunction with the state’s electric utilities, designed specifically for independent stores. 

Tim Phelan, President of the Merchants’ Association, said it can be tough for small businesses with limited staff to devote time to thinking about energy efficiency. "There’s a lot of conversation around about energy usage and ways that businesses can become more energy efficient," he said, "and it just struck us that a small independent store sometimes gets lost in that conversation."

The Association can arrange for a free audit, which will tell retailers where they can save money on their lighting, insulation, HVAC or other energy uses.

Phelan said if the business then decides to go ahead with any recommended work, it can tap into a state fund, through the Energize Connecticut program. "The small independent retailer can borrow against that money at zero percent interest, and pay back the cost of the project through their monthly utility bill," he said.

Phelan said many see no increase in their monthly bill because the increased efficiency pays for the cost of the work.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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