Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Program
Offered by the Wyoming Business Council State Energy Office
In partnership with University of Wyoming Extension and Manufacturing Works
Energy efficiency improvements and small-scale renewable energy systems are an often overlooked cost-effective opportunity for Wyoming’s small businesses, agricultural producers, non-profits, and local governments. The Wyoming Business Council State Energy Office (SEO), with support from UW Extension (UWE) and Manufacturing Works (MW) offers funding and technical support to entities pursuing an energy audit and/or renewable energy assessment.
The program funds 75% of the cost of an energy audit and/or renewable energy assessment and some energy efficiency improvements. Energy audits examine ways to reduce energy consumption (efficiency improvements), while renewable energy assessments explore producing energy through small-scale biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar (thermal and electric), and wind energy systems. When funding is available, the program can also pay a fraction of the actual improvements identified in the audit, such as lighting upgrades, insulation, and more. The cost of the audit/assessment and associated improvements cannot exceed $7,000 ($5,000 for Cheyenne-area businesses, non-profits, and divisions of local government).*
Energy audits are available to small businesses (based upon Small Business Administration criteria), agricultural producers, non-profits, and divisions of local government. Only rural small businesses and agricultural producers are eligible for renewable energy assessments. * Residences and housing units are not eligible.
The application process is easy! One application is completed for either an energy audit or renewable energy development assessment (or both). The application can be found on the State Energy Office website.
The audit will be completed by engineers from UW-affiliated Manufacturing Works. Other contactors can also be utilized, but some grant funding may not be available to these vendors due to external grant restrictions.*
Applicants will be evaluated by eligibility based on a first come first serve basis until funding is exhausted. Eligible applicants may apply for both a renewable energy assessment and energy audit.
If you have any questions concerning the process please contact Sherry Hughes at (307) 777-2824, email@example.com, Corrie Graham (307) 777-2841 firstname.lastname@example.org or Milton Geiger (307) 766-3002 email@example.com.
* Restrictions based upon conditions of an external USDA Rural Development grant, which partially funds the program. Rural Development’s program is only available to rural, small businesses and agricultural producers.
Example Project: Sally’s Car Wash
Sally’s Car Wash is a small business based upon Small business Administration standards, located in Gillette, WY.
Sally learns about the program from the local Sustainability Coordinator, and decides to apply in hopes of reducing her energy costs and environmental impact. After finding the application on-line at the State Energy Office website (www.wyomingbusiness.org/energy), she also follows a link to the University of Wyoming’s website (http://www.wyomingrenewables.org) to learn more about renewable energy. Sally decides that she is also interested in a solar thermal system to heat the water for her car wash.
The application for both an energy audit and renewable energy assessment takes her about 15 minutes to complete, and she is able to submit it electronically. Sally receives an acknowledgement from the State Energy Office, and notice that an engineer from Manufacturing Works will be contacting her soon.
An engineer from Manufacturing Works requests a history of her utility bills, discusses her special energy concerns, such as the cost of lighting the parking lot, and supplies a contract to complete an audit and renewable energy assessment for $2000. A grant covers 75% of the cost, so Sally agrees to pay $500. The engineer visits her car wash, spending nearly a full-day on the property. About a week or two later, Sally receives an energy audit and renewable energy assessment that details cost effective improvements and an evaluation of her potential for a solar thermal system.
Sally is excited at the many cost effective efficiency opportunities. She selects $10,000 worth of equipment replacements that are most economical. She alerts the State Energy Office about her planned improvements, and receives a $5000 reimbursement for the equipment.
Sally designs her new water heater to accommodate a solar hot water heater, which she installs the following summer. It is especially cost-effective due to a 30% federal tax credit and her ability to rapidly depreciate the cost of the system.
At the end of the project, Sally has reduced her energy costs, exposure to future price fluctuations, and environmental impact, all while installing new equipment that increased the value of her business!