The energy bill signed into law in the U.S. in December includes a pilot program to help small businesses improve their energy and fuel use. The program, to be administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), will offer low-cost loans to small businesses to improve their energy efficiency. In addition to the loans, the program funds grants to Small Business Development Centers to offer free energy audits, and encourages small businesses to offer telecommuting options to employees.
A recent survey found that only one-third of small businesses, which are responsible for half of U.S. business output, had implemented any energy efficiency programs. This two-year pilot will, according to GreenBiz.com, allow small businesses to take advantage of the same energy efficiency projects that Fortune 500 companies have adopted in recent years.