Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free Energy Assessment Can Save $$$

Roanoke-based Volunteers for Energy (VfE) is seeking clients. VfE is a volunteer-based technical assistance program, operated by the Roanoke Valley-Allegany Regional Commission, that helps businesses and organizations to increase energy efficiency and reduce waste.

The program employs volunteer engineers, scientists, architects and business professionals to provide assessments. Volunteers consult with each client to identify specific goals, conduct an on-site walk through and provide the client with a report with recommendations that identify specific cost-saving measures, including estimated costs and payback periods. VfE follows up with each client over the next 18 months to find out how many of the recommendations were implemented.

Program Director Jeremy Holmes (, 866-424-3334) says, “Our goal is to give businesses a good grasp of their opportunities for energy savings and a plan for achieving them through solid return-on-investment calculations. By engaging retirees and professionals who are genuinely interested in energy conservation, we can provide the service for free to help businesses – including nonprofits, churches, and institutions – who might have been reticent to undertake a costlier formal energy audit.”

Energy assessments typically address lighting, the building envelope (including walls, attic, doors and windows), appliances, mechanical systems including HVAC, and water/sewer use as well as other systems specified by the client. Waste reduction assessments can include solid waste and transportation. Clients can also request a review of general sustainability practices such as recycling, renewable energy installation, composting, and other strategies.


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