"Small Business Program" saving energy, thousands of dollars for area shops through upgrades

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Many businesses are saving money and energy through a statewide program.

Rainmaster Lawn Systems in Eau Claire, along with about 1,700 other companies statewide will get that chance through the Focus on Energy's Small Business Program.

“Anytime you can find an opportunity to reduce an expense or save labor, I think it's a great idea to become more efficient,” Rainmaster’s president, Paul Madsen said.

The program pays for 60 to 100 percent of upgrades to make businesses more energy efficient.

Madsen said his building will get new led lights to cut down on their bills and usage.

“We’d probably be saving around $700 to $800 on the electric bill,” he said.

Scott Barr, owner of Lydia's Lighting and Gift Gallery in Eau Claire said he was skeptical of the program at first.

“We're a lighting store, so naturally, we need to light up as much as we can,” Barr said.

“I thought it was a typical sales pitch that I'm not going to fall into that. The more they talked, the more I became interested.” “We've got thousands of bulbs in the building. So normally the cost of buying energy efficient bulbs just was not realistic. It would have taken us years to replace all of them. With this program, we had all the bulbs replaced at one time, it cost me very little and it did lower my energy cost.” “We probably went down $200 - $300 per month.”

“In this day in age, it's important to cut anywhere you can. Naturally, we try to, and that made a big difference.”

“It's fantastic, any efficiency you can find like that is just, all of the money comes out of the same pot, right, so we can pay to staff or we can do more work for customers at a lower rate, if we can save money on things like lights or other auxiliary things.”

The program is also available for churches, private schools and non-profit organizations.

For more information, call (800) 762-7077.

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