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Local contractors, electricians can benefit from energy summits

Businesses looking to save money on energy costs aren’t the only ones who can stand to benefit from January’s Coastal Gateway Energy Summits.
After businesses apply for energy audits and grants, they will need to find licensed contractors to perform the work needed to put energy-saving measures into practice. Local electrical contractors, electrical supply houses and building contractors will be able to participate in the program and benefit from the work that will be required under the program – but only if they are registered beforehand.
“When this program gets underway in January, one of our goals is to make sure all the money that will be generated through the program stays in our local area,” said John A. Johnson, executive director for Coastal Gateway. “That means not only do we want our local businesses and industries to benefit by accessing grant and low-cost loan funds – we also want our local contractors and tradesmen to benefit by being the ones paid to do the work.”
Coastal Gateway is sponsoring seven summits across five counties in January – two in Escambia County, two in Clarke County and one each in Choctaw, Conecuh and Monroe counties. At those summits, local businesses, industries and farmers can learn how to access free energy audits, USDA grant funds and loans through both USDA and ADECA’s Alabama Saves program. The summits are part of Coastal Gateway’s Energy Efficiency Initiative for existing business and industry.
Those who want to be able to work on projects funded under the initiative – which includes Installing contractors, energy service providers, ESCOs, product vendors, consultants, engineers and auditors – must first register with ADECA. The process is simple; service providers must only document proof of proper qualifications and licenses, and agree to comply with quality assurance standards.
“We don’t want anyone to be left out,” Johnson said. “The registration process is not difficult, but it is important that our local service providers be prepared in advance, so they can be ready to bid for work when it becomes available. Coastal Gateway believes this initiative will provide a substantial benefit to our area, reducing costs for businesses and giving a boost to our local tradesmen at the same time.”
To become an eligible service provider, contact Michael McHugh at Abundant Power at 205.502.7546 or 251.510.2460, or by email at mmchugh@abundant-power.com. Those wishing to be an approved service provider are also encouraged to attend one of the seven seminars in January, where officials from USDA and ADECA will join Coastal Gateway to present details on the program.