America Saves! Preservation Green Lab's Retrofit Project [for small buildings] Takes Shape


From Preservation Nation writers Ric Cochrane and Jeana Wiser: "Small businesses are the backbones of communities throughout the country, exemplified by the countless individual stories and creative passions that together make Main Streets unique.  Although places are as different as people, one thing remains true anywhere you look: Small businesses and Main Streets are underserved and often overlooked when compared to large chains and strip-mall suburbs. "The Preservation Green Lab, a department of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, believes that specific attention paid to the opportunity that exists in small buildings, home to Main Street businesses, may help level the playing field.

"In a 2013 report, 'Realizing the Energy Efficiency Potential of Small Buildings', the Green Lab quantified the energy and cost savings readily available to Main Street businesses.  The report focused on the primary challenges to delivering energy efficiency to the so-called hard-to-reach (HTR) small buildings sector, and also strategies to help realize energy efficiency.

"Since the release of the Small Buildings report, the Green Lab has developed a national model for delivering energy efficiency to Main Street small businesses and buildings.  The project, called America Saves!, received a $2 million Department of Energy matching award in July 2013 and has since received additional support for regional pilots in target markets.

"The ultimate objective of America Saves! is to use energy retrofits to increase the profitability of Main Street businesses and the capacity of Main Street organizations.  For the first time, small businesses and small buildings are the focus of national energy efficiency efforts and resources.  This is good news for Main Street."

"The America Saves! model will be tested in a select number of demonstration communities ahead of the 2014 National Main Street Conference in Detroit [on May 18-20]."  Full article here.