Use the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
All commercial building owners, regardless of whether they rent out their property or use it to run their own business, know that energy costs constitute a large part of their overhead.

Ever increasing energy prices guarantee that will continue to be the case. The West Chester BLUER Committee believes that building-owners can lower their energy use and monthly utility bills by using energy-management tools such as ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager. Portfolio Manager is a free tool that lets building-owners keep track of their energy use and determine if their buildings are better, the same, or worse than similar buildings in their energy efficiency using a simple 1-to-100 scale with 50 denoting an average building.
West Chester Buildings, View of Rooftops
Owners of buildings that score 75 or higher can receive the ENERGY STAR label and more importantly, the peace of mind that goes with knowing one owns a cost efficient and energy-efficient building. Portfolio Manager is individually tailored for a variety of buildings, everything from banks to courthouses, offices to schools, and dormitories to wastewater treatment plants.

Building-owners can access the Portfolio Manager for more information.

Utilize Tax Incentives

There are various tax incentives, grants, loans, and other special financing opportunities available to West Chester commercial-building owners and those seeking to build commercial buildings in the borough.

The federal government provides tax incentives for commercial building owners who install HVAC systems, building envelopes, and lighting systems that meet energy efficiency requirements.

Specifically, building owners can earn a corporate tax deduction of 60 cents a square foot for any 1 of these qualifying systems or up to $1.80 a square foot if all 3 systems qualify. At present, the credits are available for systems placed in service between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008. Vist the following resources for more information:
Take Advantage of Business Specific Energy Efficiency Tips
It's obvious but true that a restaurant isn't a retail store, which isn't a small office. And just as each of these types of small businesses has its own special tasks and challenges, each also has certain, specific steps it can take to save energy and money.

Owners and managers of these different types of businesses should research energy efficiency tips particular to their type of business, and a good place to start is the ENERGY STAR for Small Business resource.

To save money, ENERGY STAR buildings cost less to heat and cool. To earn more money, tenants should be willing to pay more for rent if they know they will be renting an ENERGY STAR building and thus paying less for utilities. To increase comfort - ENERGY STAR buildings aren't as drafty in the winter and as hot in the summer.

To help our environment, owners of ENERGY STAR buildings know that they are taking steps to reduce carbon emissions.

Get a Grant from the Sustainable Development Fund
Owners of new and existing buildings in the Borough of West Chester can get grants and loans through the Sustainable Development Fund, which was created in 1998 in conjunction with Pennsylvania’s restructuring agreement with PECO Energy. The Sustainable Development Funds provides both grants and loans for renewable energy projects, such as those using solar power, wind power, or fuel cells.

For more information about grants, contact Roger Clark at 215-574-5814 or by email. For more information about loans, contact Robert Sanders at 215-574-5850 or by email.