Where to find energy efficiency business opportunities

No one would disagree that this is a good time to be in the energy efficiency business. Another report, this one out last week, signals just how good.

Conducted by Comverge, the survey of more than 100 US utilities found that 92% plan to increase their efficiency budgets by at least 10% in 2011. Comverge also found that 22% plan to boost their EE budgets by more than 20%. http://www.comverge.com/newsroom/comverge-press-releases/2011/January-31,-2011.

However, it is not always easy to pinpoint where the business opportunity lies, since they may emerge from so many different sources: utilities, government agencies, energy companies seeking to subcontract, or large energy consumers and others. Further, the opportunities tend to be diverse, given that the energy efficiency industry encompasses so many different kinds of businesses — installers, green builders, architects, consultants, load managers, appliance and car manufacturers, information technology companies and more. Any search requires casting a broad net.

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Here are a few recent opportunities that Energy Efficiency Markets, http://www.realwriters.net/rew/news_frame.htm, picked up in its weekly search.

  • The Maryland Energy Administration seeks a consultant to help with state planning, preparation, and implementation of energy efficiency procurement contracts. Bids are due March 2.
  • The New Hampshire Office of Energy & Planning is looking for help with marketing, outreach, education and strategic communication planning for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Bids are due in two phases, March 30 and June 9.
  • The US Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Program seeks applications for the assessment and deployment of energy efficiency improvements in Indian country. Bids are due March 16.
  • American National Standards Institute seeks an administrator and technical assistance for a new certification program that will provide third party verification of energy efficiency at industrial and commercial facilities. Proposals are due March 10.
  • The Minnesota State Energy Sector Partnership is looking for innovative proposals from Minnesota-based businesses and organizations to train state residents for jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. Proposals are due March 3.
  • The New York Energy Research and Development Authority seeks proposals to expand the amount of customer load involved in facility peak load reduction or demand response programs for dynamic electric pricing. Bids are due March 15.

There are about 30 opportunities listed in the newsletter here, http://www.realwriters.net/rew/news_frame.htm, and updated weekly.  It’s free. Another excellent free source is a monthly mailing distributed through the Washington State University Extension Energy Program, and available by contacting laurie.e.brown@comcast.net.  It lists energy efficiency opportunities, as well as a broad range of other kinds of green and environmental projects.

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Elisa Wood is a long-time energy writer whose work appears in many of the industry's top magazines and newsletters, among them Renewable Energy World and Platts. She serves as chief editor of EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com. Her work has been picked up by the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal online, Utne, USA Today and several other sites. She is author of the report "Think Microgrid: A Guide for Policymakers, Regulators and End Users." See more of her work at RealEnergyWriters.com.

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