Big Opportunities for Small Business: Successful Practices of Utility Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs

Research Report U1607


Seth Nowak


The great majority of gas and electric utility commercial customers are small businesses. Utility energy efficiency programs are beginning to tap the potential for energy and demand savings in the small business sector through innovative customer engagement and program design. Addressing customer barriers such as lack of time, money, staff, and program awareness is not always enough to convince business owners to participate in programs. Structural and economic limitations challenge program managers to design and implement programs that simultaneously garner broad participation and capture deep savings. This study identifies successful practices and emerging approaches, and discusses some of the remaining major structural and organizational challenges for fulfilling the energy and demand savings potential of the small business sector.