The Winneshiek Energy District's Green Business has selected the Decorah Middle School, Aase Haugen Homes, T-Bocks Sports Bar, La Rana Bistro and Magpie Coffeehouse as winners of its Green Energy Challenge. The winners will receive in-depth audits of electrical usage, performed by Smartgreen.com energy consulting, a business owned by Decorah resident Scott Bassford.
"All businesses who participate in the Green Business Challenge are winners because of their commitment to saving energy and saving money," said Carolyn Corbin, Green Business Consultant for the Winneshiek Energy District. "We need everyone to do their part in order to reach the goals set forth in the Sustainable Decorah Strategic Plan to reach 15 percent reduction of energy by 2015."
Decorah School District Facilities Manager Greg Schaller says the school district is working to reduce operating costs and stop energy leaks. Schaller states, "We are always trying to do better." The energy audit will identify potential savings related to computers and lighting in the middle school.
"Reducing energy costs will keep millions of dollars in the local economy," states Andy Johnson, Director of the Winneshiek Energy District.
Corbin says more than 30 businesses have signed up for the Energy Challenge since July. Businesses who sign up for the Challenge enter their energy data into a software program that compares their business with others of the same size and type across the nation. The program helps businesses monitor energy use and provides resources and recognition.
To sign up, businesses can start by collecting their last 12 months of energy use data, then go to www.energydistrict.org/programs/challenge. Businesses can also qualify for an in-depth energy audit and up to $5,000 of cost share for energy improvements through the Winneshiek Energy District.