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Small Business Energy Audits

In partnership with San Isabel Electric and Tri-State Generation & Transmission, Energy Smart Colorado is implementing a USDA grant.

Through this grant, eligible rural, small businesses may qualify for a discounted energy audit and additional rebates. This program may also enable a business to apply for a USDA REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) grant.

To determine if your business qualifies for the small business energy auditing assistance program, follow these Small Business Eligibility Steps:

  1. Visit the USDA eligibility site. Once you enter the page, click on “rural business”, then click on the first set of programs. Accept the Property Eligibility Disclaimer and enter the physical address of your building. A pin will pop up and confirm the address is located in an eligible area. (Most businesses in communities with a population that does not exceed 50,000 are considered a rural business.)
  2. Confirm your business meets the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business size standards by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). (Click on the “Download .pdf” button to obtain the NAICS codes for the enrollment form.) Per these standards: A private for-profit entity, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or cooperative may be eligible.


The business may be, but need not be, a San Isabel Electric customer.

Agricultural producers are excluded from this grant program, but are encouraged to seek assistance through the ACRE3 (Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency) Program.

The Small Business Energy Auditing Assistance Program is just one of the programs offered through Energy Smart Colorado. This enrollment form allows a business to sign up for the small business energy auditing assistance program or an energy site visit or obtain advising from one of our local Energy Smart partners.

Why Participate in the Small Business Energy Auditing Program?

We often hear about home energy audits, but what about commercial buildings? Large and mid-sized engineering firms can often serve our larger commercial buildings, however the cost associated with their services is often prohibitive for many smaller businesses that do not own or maintain a significant amount of building square footage.

Energy audits and assessments are invaluable tools for better understanding which energy improvements may provide the biggest return on investment (ROI) for your specific building. The customized reports that you receive will show all relevant opportunities for improvement, alongside projected savings, and ROI. 

To better serve our small businesses, we have compiled a network of mostly independent, qualified energy analysts who can affordably assess commercial buildings at this scale. Thanks to the funding from the USDA, 75% of the cost of these audits will be covered by our program, including the analyst travel fees. 

A Small Business Energy Assessment may unlock Grants and Tax Credits

Another significant benefit of having a comprehensive energy report for your facility is that it positions your business well for new and existing state and federal funding opportunities. The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to rural, small businesses for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. Grants are available for up to 50% of eligible energy efficiency project costs (between $2,500 and $500,000) or renewable energy systems (up to $1 Million.) Loans are available for up to 75% of eligible costs.

To take advantage of the REAP funding opportunity, the USDA requires applicants to demonstrate that they have received a comprehensive, third-party energy audit or assessment. This program seeks to fulfill this application requirement for business owners at a very reasonable cost. 

How do we Prepare for the Small Business Energy Assessment?

To prepare for your audit, please collect your energy bills or reach out to your energy providers (electricity, gas, and/or propane) to request the past 12 months of energy usage and cost data. This will be important for the calculation of potential energy savings. Also take a minute to make a list of priorities for your building, including comfort concerns, equipment replacement plans, carbon reduction goals, lighting needs, expansion plans, or other current challenges. A discussion of your goals will better inform the energy auditing process and solutions can be addressed through the final report.

What is included in the Small Business Energy Assessment?

Energy Smart Colorado’s small business energy assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of a building’s performance in energy efficiency, comfort, health, and safety. The assessment is conducted by an Energy Smart Colorado building analyst, certified, at a minimum, through the nationally recognized Building Performance Institute (BPI). The assessment report details the health and safety of a commercial entity’s combustion appliances, results of diagnostic air-sealing tests, as well as recommended energy improvements, their respective costs, and their return on investment, including conservation measures related to air sealing, insulation, lighting, windows and doors, motors and controls, HVAC, heat tape, and appliances.