Businesses in Upstate New York reaping benefits of green living

The historic city of Glens Falls, New York, which was named "Hometown, U.S.A" by Look Magazine in 1944 for being the idyllic model of a traditional American community, is now setting a new standard by embracing energy efficiency.

Businesses throughout the city are making widespread improvements to their properties, thanks to a rebate program from the utility company National Grid that refunds 70 percent of the costs for environmentally friendly renovations.

One local hot-spot taking advantage of National Grid's offer is the Cooper's Cave Ale House, a brewery and restaurant in downtown Glens Falls, according to a story in the Glens Fall Post Star. Over the past year, the ownership has replaced numerous appliances, including their large storage freezers, with more energy efficient models. The restaurant has also embraced CFL and LED lightbulbs, replacing old fluorescent and halogen lighting with greener fixtures.

"Lighting is the low-hanging fruit – you can walk into a business and actually see energy being wasted," Rise Engineering marketing manager Ben Greenberg tells the source.

Rise Engineering is the regional program administrator for National Grid’s small-business services program, which offers the rebate to any company with an account from the utility provider.

Since the rebate program was enacted, Rise Engineering has helped 166 small businesses throughout the Glens Falls area lower their monthly energy costs.

Having started upgrades to the Ale House only a year ago, the restaurant's General Manager Adrian Bethel reported to the source that Cooper's Cave has already shaved more than $1,100 from their electric bills so far.

Business owners anywhere can lower their monthly bills if they identify where waste is occurring in their building, and the best way to do this is through an energy audit from a home inspection contractor.