3 inexpensive green resources for Maine small businesses 2023

On Friday in Augusta, dozens of individuals met to discuss how small businesses might minimize their carbon footprint and create environmental objectives.

Businesses must help the state reach its 2045 carbon neutrality objective.

“Dozens of Maine businesses are thinking about how they can get from where they are now, which is probably burning fossil fuels, to the future that we all want, which is powering their business with clean energy,”

Fred Horch, the volunteer project director of ‘On the Pathway to 100% Clean Energy,’ a Portland-based nonprofit project, told Maine business owners at a ClimateWork Maine summit. ClimateWork Maine is a network of Maine businesses, experts, and leaders taking action

Experts and business leaders recommended three free or low-cost resources:

— Maine companies may join “On the Pathway to 100% Clean Energy” for free by signing an open letter committing to 100% clean energy. Androscoggin Bank, Revision Energy, and Lamey Wellehan have pledged.

Businesses may get free renewable energy supplies and a manual by joining the trail. The organization also connects businesses with consultants, contractors, and financial service organizations to help them transition to clean energy, upgrade buildings to run without fossil fuels, and find affordable funding sources.

“We’re really trying to focus on the real stuff that people can do and have a tangible outcome,” said Spark Applied Efficiency co-founder Horch. “We unite people.”

— Massachusetts-based Sustaine offers free software to assist small and medium-sized enterprises analyze their energy demands and acquire customized renewable energy. Sustaine CEO Malcolm Smith says 50 Maine firms have received energy scorecards.

The company runs businesses’ power bills through its software to develop a scorecard showing renewable energy choices and how much they would save on energy prices.

“If you don’t have a pile of cash laying around, you don’t need it,” Smith remarked at the summit.

Clean energy solutions are financed. He said small enterprises may use federal tax credits and subsidies to make the renewable energy shift cheaper.

— For about $1,000, Yarmouth-based New Eco Consulting can help Maine businesses establish a more comprehensive climate action roadmap that covers their supply chain and operations.

“I’m not a big shop, and I help small businesses determine their climate impact, risks, costs, and challenges,” said New Eco Consulting founder Megan Hellstedt. “I educate and advise small businesses to help them navigate their roadmap affordably.”

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