Miamidade Kicks Off 1 Million Green Business Rebates
By Ashley Hopkins
Following the success of a countywide residential rebate program and the failure of an energy efficiency loan program, Miami-Dade’s Office of Sustainability plans to begin promoting another $1 million rebate program this week.
In July the county terminated its $1.5 million Renovation for Energy Efficiency Loan program due to a lack of interest. While the program was designed to provide businesses with loans for energy retrofits, after 10 months and zero loans issued the county pulled the program’s plug.
The office used the funds to finance a $500,000 residential appliance rebate program. In September nearly 2,250 Miami-Dade residents depleted all funds in 40 hours — allowing recipients to buy energy-efficient refrigerators and clothes washers.
To use the remaining funds, Maribel Balbin, program manager for Miami-Dade’s Office of Sustainability, said the county intends to offer $1 million in rebates to companies applying to the county’s green businesses certification program.
Through the program, businesses that audit themselves through the office’s website receive a score indicating how green they are. If scores hit set levels, company officials are encouraged to apply for certification through the office.
According to Ms. Balbin, the Office of Sustainability plans to meet with businesses applying for certification to determine which commercial appliances would give them the most bang for their buck. Businesses that apply can receive up to $10,000, depending on what they buy.
"For a small business, that’s going to be popular," Ms. Balbin said. "The rebate is going to help them get to green."
The rebates are part of the county’s $12.5 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, funded under the 2009 federal stimulus plan. The program was designed to cut energy consumption and increase energy savings by encouraging residents to replace inefficient appliances with greener options.
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