Going Green? Get Government Help for Your Business

Four programs to get your company on the green scene

Buy Energy-Efficient Products in Bulk

If you are a member of the Quantity Quotes program through the U.S. Department of Energy you can begin buying Energy Star labeled products in bulk. Purchasing items such as light bulbs, light fixtures, refrigerators, and room air conditioners in bulk will help ensure that businesses meet their energy-efficiency goals, help reduce utility costs, and could possibly provide a cost savings over purchasing the items from retail stores.

This program could be especially beneficial for construction companies or firms that do home and business remodeling. Although some of the products are more expensive, such as florescent and LED lighting fixtures, each fixture can save $70 each year in energy costs. Qualified commercial lighting products use at least 75% less energy and last 35 times longer than incandescent lighting. Other Energy Star products provide similar cost savings.
Supply Energy-Efficient Products to Federal Agencies.

Federal agencies spend at least $10 billion per year on purchases of energy-using products, according to a Department of Energy report. They are buying everything from computers and other office equipment to lighting fixtures and commercial food service equipment. There are several ways that small businesses can get in on this action.

The General Services Administration’s Schedules Program connects businesses with government agencies that want to procure energy-efficient products. “If you make energy star qualified products then…you can get on a GSA schedule,” says Vargas.

The GSA will allow vendors to list their offerings on GSA Advantage, which publishes “Your Guide for How to Market to the Federal Government.” Finally, check each federal agency’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization where one can find information about purchasing programs for small businesses.

RESOURCES

The Business Partner Network: A central source of vendor data for the federal government. Businesses can register, update their profile, and provide hyperlinks to their Websites from this database.

Federal Energy Management Program: A program of the U.S Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy that helps federal agencies meet energy goals.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory: The nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. This link provides information about technologies that are commercially available for small businesses.

Defense Logistics Agency-Business Systems Modernization: Businesses should register with the DLA-BSM, a Web-based application that allows entrepreneurs to search for, view, and submit secure proposals to government agencies.

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