Contractors, Laborers See Booming Business in “Going Green”

NAPERVILLE, ILL -- Local contractors, as well as heating and air conditioning and plumbing companies, are benefitting from a boom in new business this winter thanks to financial rebates being offered through the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program. Increased installations of high efficiency natural gas equipment are not only benefiting the environment, but are also helping the local economy as customers look to earn their rebates before the current program ends on May 31, 2011.

The Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program is offering financial rebates to customers who install qualifying natural gas-saving products, including furnaces, boilers, steam traps, and water heaters. The program makes energy use more efficient and affordable for businesses while reducing natural gas consumption.

The program is a win-win opportunity for participating businesses and organizations, as they are creating a more environmentally conscious workplace while saving money and reducing operating costs. In addition, local contractors and companies associated with installing the equipment are benefiting from the additional business.

“The success of the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program is due to our customers’ interest in saving money and lowering their operating costs,” said Kevin Kirby, Vice President of Customer Care at Nicor Gas. “An added benefit is that the program is having a multiplier effect on businesses throughout our service territory as customers hire local contractors to install the new equipment.”

Non-residential customers served on rates 4 and 74 that have already benefitted from the program include restaurants, shops, schools, government offices, places of worship, apartment and condo buildings, non-profit organizations, and manufacturing facilities, among others.

“It’s easy to tell our customers about the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program since Nicor Gas gave us information we can share to help promote the rebates and overall cost savings associated with the program,” said Teri Lewand, Energy Solutions Manager at Hill Mechanical Group in Franklin Park. “We are not only able to offer this rebate opportunity to our customers, but we’ve had businesses call us directly to inquire about the program and how we can help them take part.”

More than 100 business customers across Illinois have taken advantage of the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program. To date, Nicor Gas has issued more than $450,000 in rebates to non-residential customers – and additional funds are still available.

“In these economic times, it makes prudent business sense for companies to look at small ways they can cut costs – and reducing energy usage is a simple, easy way for our business to save money,” said Brian Great, President of The Great Escape restaurant in Schiller Park. “In addition to earning a $3,000 rebate from the installation of heat recovery grease traps over our ovens and grills, we are looking forward to seeing a reduction in our natural gas usage over the coming months and years.”

According to ENERGY STAR, a government-backed program that promotes superior energy efficiency, a 10 percent increase in the energy efficiency of commercial and industrial buildings would save consumers $20 billion nationally on energy bills, while the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to removing approximately 30 million vehicles from the road.

“Providing new energy efficient equipment to commercial customers through the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program has allowed us and our contractors to expand our clientele base,” said Ryan Hoger, Product Manager of TEC HVAC Solutions in Lansing. “This program has given us the chance to increase our sales closure rate – while installing boilers and other equipment that will help companies lower their operating costs and put money back into their pockets.”

For more information on the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program, please visit www.nicorgasrebates.com

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