San Antonio Small Businesses 'Seeing the Light' with Energy Upgrades

March 28, 2012

If you were going to a new gallery showing of your favorite local artist, would you want to view the canvasses under dim lights? Or if you were reupholstering your favorite sofa, would you want to look at fabric samples under fluorescent lighting and risk mistaking indigo blue for charcoal black?

Small businesses are a main economic driver in cities across the country—and San Antonio, Texas, is no different. Lighting may seem like a small detail, but as more than 800 small businesses in San Antonio have discovered, having the right lighting can improve business and conserve energy. With more than 40% of a company's energy consumption coming from interior lighting, upgrading to more efficient lighting can dramatically reduce a company's energy consumption and lower utility bills.

As part of San Antonio's "Mission Verde" initiative, the city launched the City Lights Small Business Lighting Retrofit Program using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through DOE's The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The City Lights program is helping business owners increase their lighting efficiency, reduce energy use, and lower electricity bills.

In the first 10 months of City Lights, participating small businesses saved an estimated 4.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. Beyond these savings, the program trained and employed local energy audit experts and electrical contractors, who helped businesses identify potential energy and cost saving measures. Read the complete story in DOE's Energy Blog.