The Department of Environmental Protection will host a series of free workshops at seven locations across the state this spring to help business owners find ways to reduce soaring energy costs.
DEP Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty said the workshops will help employers of all sizes improve energy conservation and efficiency practices and help their companies improve their bottom line.
"The high costs of fuel and electricity are affecting us all," said McGinty. "These increases are driving up the cost of doing business for everyone; that puts pressure on their bottom lines, makes it more difficult to grow and create jobs, and, ultimately, pushes up the prices for consumers.
"We're providing an opportunity for businesses to see that there are steps they can take to reduce their energy costs. Many times, these can be simple, inexpensive measures that generate a quick and sizable return on investment."
Although open to the public and businesses of all sizes, the workshops will focus on those with fewer than 100 employees. Typically, these companies do not have the resources to employ or retain an energy management expert.
Business owners will receive information on energy-supply options and learn how to identify energy-saving opportunities and develop an energy action plan.
The workshop will also offer attendees information on financial and technical resources that are available for energy-efficiency upgrades, including easily implemented, cost-effective changes for manufacturing facilities.
Registration for the workshops is free, and the sessions are open to the public. They will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on the following dates and locations:
- April 24, Small Business Development Center, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh.
- May 6, Penn State - Great Valley Campus, 30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern.
- May 15, Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, William J Douglass Conference Center, 764 Bessemer St., Meadville.
- May 22, Electrotechnology Applications Center, Northampton Community College, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem.
- May 28, Bucknell University, Elaine Langone Center, 701 Moore Ave., Lewisburg.
- June 3, Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, 432 Old Market St., Mount Joy, Lancaster County.
- June 12, SMC Business Councils' George Westinghouse Science & Technology Center, 1382 Beulah Road, Pittsburgh.
The workshops are sponsored by DEP's Office of the Small Business Ombudsman in partnership with business and economic development groups, local government organizations, and institutions of higher education. Funding for the energy management workshops is provided through a U.S. Department of Energy grant.