Eversource's Main Street Energy Efficiency Program: Delivers Big Savings to Chelsea's Small Business
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For small business owners looking to make energy-saving improvements to their store or shop, it can sometimes be difficult due to the lack of time or available resources. That's why Eversource recently partnered with the City of Chelsea and its authorized contractor, AECOM, to bring its Main Street program to more than 80 small businesses downtown.
From Washington Avenue to Broadway, a barbershop, bakery, furniture store, and printing shop are just some businesses that will collectively save nearly $150,000 in annual energy costs, thanks to the Main Street program.
B.D.'s Furniture was one business that received new energy-efficient lighting from the Main Street program.
"Customers keep telling me how great the store looks," said store owner Arthur Tuffaha. "The entire process was easy. I was so impressed with the quality of work that I had my three other stores evaluated for energy efficiency upgrades."
"Our Main Street program focuses on a specific neighborhood and provides personal attention to the small businesses within that community," said Eversource Energy Efficiency Spokesman Bill Stack. "Working with a municipal partner, we do everything we can to make sure our customers really understand the energy-saving opportunities available to them. The City of Chelsea was a tremendous partner connecting our small business customers to solutions for savings."
The Main Street energy efficiency program begins with a no-cost energy assessment conducted by an Eversource-authorized contractor identifying energy-saving opportunities such as new lighting, occupancy sensors, programmable thermostats and more. Some of the improvements, such as installing new energy-efficient light bulbs, occur right on the spot. Larger improvement projects, such as new HVAC or energy-efficient motor controls, are scheduled for direct installation at a future date and may qualify for Mass Save incentives to offset the cost of upgrades.
In addition to helping its retail customers, the program will also contribute to the City's overall sustainability goals to be a cleaner, greener place. Over the next decade, the collective energy saved from the improvements could power approximately 1,300 homes for a year. The avoided CO2 emissions are the equivalent of removing nearly 1,200 cars from the road for an entire year.
"The Main Street program has really enlivened our downtown area through the lighting upgrades, which I'm sure will help attract more business," said Chelsea Downtown Coordinator Mimi Graney. "But not only is it good for business, it's also good for the environment. We're located right under jets flying out of Logan Airport and face heavy emissions from trucks, so I always look at ways to curb carbon emissions. The best way to do so is to start with our business community. I enjoyed making introductions between the owners and Eversource and being a true ambassador of the program."
Eversource recently started its preliminary Main Street program outreach in Natick. The company will soon be launching programs in Somerville and Springfield and is actively seeking other Eversource communities to participate.