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SUNY Small Business Development Center Partners with Con Edison to Help Small Businesses Gain Energy Savings

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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A wind farm in upstate New York.

The Small Business Development Center and Con Edison will partner to help small business owners evaluate renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 19, 2010) -- The State University of New York's State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the state's leading provider of small business management and technical services, will partner with energy giant Con Edison to provide reviews for client small business owners to improve the energy efficiency of their operations.

SBDC and Con Edison will provide energy audits and free one-to-one advisement and training to small business owners to help them:

•Implement energy efficient projects
•Secure financing to achieve energy efficiency or to build green buildings
•Evaluate renewable energy sources such as solar and wind
•Improve overall environmental performance

The program is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Energy Audit and Energy Efficiency Program, one of seven awards announced by SBA to pilot targeted outreach to the nations' small businesses. The Energy Audit and Energy Efficiency Program creates a broad-based system of assistance for the small business community by linking the resources of federal, state and local governments with resources of the educational community and the private sector.

In announcing the award, the U.S. SBA said, “The New York State SBDC and its partner organizations plan to coordinate their resources to provide energy audits for small businesses with substantial energy consumption.  They also will educate small business owners to help them identify energy savings and make 'efficient energy' decisions. The SBDC and its partners will advise small business owners about energy opportunities relating to green buildings, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and improved environmental performance."

A lending consortium finances energy improvements

The New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), a lending consortium of 135 New York State banks, will make financing available to small business owners implementing energy improvements recommended by the Con Edison audits. NYBDC is one of the largest and most experienced SBA lenders in the state for developing innovative financial solutions.

"The past spike in energy costs help make this project very timely for most small businesses," said NYSSBDC State Director Jim King. "We're enthusiastic about the potential to identify and work with small businesses throughout New York State, and to work with Con Edison and NYBDC to help implement changes in business operations that will save energy while helping the environment through reduced emissions, and the economy by cutting back on imported oil. This simply makes good sense for the business and the state."

Cutting costs is critical to business

"Cutting costs is a critical element of day to day life for business owners and everyday businesses are looking for solutions that can make an impact and be cost effective," said Con Edison Energy Efficiency Director Rebecca Craft.  "This partnership provides businesses access to energy efficiency resources that can help reduce energy usage.  We are excited about the opportunity this brings to business owners and Con Edison's small business energy efficiency program. We want customers to use less energy and save money."

"NYBDC is committed to providing unique financing for businesses in the energy efficiency and green business sectors," said NYBDC President & CEO Patrick MacKrell. "We look forward to working with the energy projects identified through this program and partnering with SBDC to accomplish these energy related goals."

About Con Edison
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $34 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.
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Business owners can explore Con Edison's energy-efficiency programs
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About SBDC
SBDC, administered by the University at Albany, has 24 regional service centers located throughout the New York State on SUNY, City University of New York (CUNY) and private university campuses. Since inception in 1984, SBDC has provided small business advisement services to more than 279,000 New Yorkers. SBDC also provides training and business research to existing business owners and entrepreneurs. SBDC clients have invested more than $3.6 billion in New York State, impacting 131,000 jobs.

SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New York, local communities and host campuses. As a result of this leveraged support, the SBDC staff provides confidential one-on-one business advisement services at no direct cost to the citizens and entrepreneurs of New York.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 427,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses.

Resources
University at Albany Small Business Development Center
University at Albany School of Business

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