McCrory administration program praised for helping small businesses save money, protect environment

RALEIGH

Federal officials are praising a program in the McCrory administration’s environmental agency for its success at helping small businesses save money and protect the environment.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the Waste Reduction Partners a $99,825 grant that enabled the program to complete 53 energy audits of rural North Carolina businesses over the past few years. During its audits, Waste Reduction Partners identified $776,000 in annual utility costs savings for the small businesses. The average annual savings equaled $14,600 per business.

“Waste Reduction Partners is a great example of Governor McCrory’s pro-economy, pro-environment vision for North Carolina,” said Terry Albrecht, who works in the state environmental agency and has oversight responsibilities for the Waste Reduction Partners program. “The program provides small businesses with useful information so they can achieve economic success while also reducing their impacts on the environment.”

Waste Reduction Partners is a group of retired scientists and engineers who provide free advice for North Carolina businesses seeking to cut costs and lessen their environmental impacts. At the request of a business, a member of the Waste Reduction Partners team will conduct an on-site audit of the business and then provide the business with recommendations for reducing the amount of waste they generate as well as their energy and water usage.

The program used the $99,825 grant from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, to audit numerous rural businesses in North Carolina, including poultry, produce and soybean farms, convenience stores, hotels and wood product manufacturers. Twelve of the businesses that Waste Reduction Partners worked with received $183,579 in REAP funding to help pay for energy and water efficient irrigation equipment, more efficient ventilation fans for poultry farms and other energy-efficient projects recommended by the Partners program.

Waste Reduction Partners is run through a partnership between the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments. Since 2000, Waste Reduction Partners has helped save North Carolina businesses more than $81 million in utility costs, and significantly reduce their air emissions and generation of solid waste. 

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