August is the perfect time to talk about energy-saving tools and programs, as our electricity bills are the highest of the year, and businesses and individuals pray that their air conditioners will hold out. Possibly even more important than our ability to stay cool however, is the impact our energy practices have on the environment and climate we live in. Businesses in New Orleans not only know the repercussions for energy use, but are leading the charge in changing the way we think about and use energy. Last Friday, many of these businesses joined LifeCity and Energy Smart for a workshop about saving money and energy. Here is what we learned!
First, we heard from Siobhan Foley with the New Orleans Office of Resilience and Sustainability. She provided an overview of the new Climate Action Strategy, which features many inspiring and important goals for New Orleans, spanning over the next 20-50 years. In the strategy, goals such as decreasing our carbon footprint, increasing solar energy, reducing waste, and supporting development of the circular economy will be used to inspire business leaders and citizens to contribute to the positive change needed to meet these goals. Not only does the strategy include helping our environment, but it also sets the stage for job creation and connecting culture to climate change. To read the whole strategy, click here.
Next, Jackie Dadakis, the Managing Partner of Green Coast Enterprise (GCE) Services, spoke to us about Green Coast’s efficient and accessible technology that allows businesses, schools, and organizations to track their utility bills and other data relevant to energy use and savings. Through a simple data tracking dashboard, it is easier to make decisions that will greatly reduce costs and unneeded energy usage. By focusing on the inefficient and expensive quadrant of energy use, Green Coast has been able to help businesses and organizations reduce costs so that they can feel good about helping the environment, while saving money to spend on hiring more employees, establishing sustainable practices, or investing in other areas of business development.
Finally, Robyn Munici, a Project Lead at Energy Smart, a program developed by the New Orleans City Council and administered by Entergy New Orleans, spoke about energy savings opportunities. Robyn described how Energy Smart helps Entergy New Orleans’ electric customers save energy and money through energy assessments and valuable cash rebates on a variety of energy efficiency improvements. Leveraging cash back incentives and trade ally partners, Energy Smart works with businesses and industrial facilities to meet their energy needs, while reducing their carbon footprint and establishing sustainable and cost-effective business practices.
Although the primary focus of our workshop was business customers, Energy Smart also runs a residential program.
If you are interested in saving money and energy at home, visit the Energy Smart website to get started!
Thank you to all the businesses and speakers who participated, and we look forward to making New Orleans a more resilient and clean energy-driven community!