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Shop owners recover lost and found funds

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 07:39
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The ENERGY STAR® Green Garage Challenge administrator disclosed that 65 percent of automotive service and repair shops certified under Green and Clean City programs find thousands of dollars in overlooked compensation when auditing their utility bills.

When a shop registers for Find Green Garage public recognition, an engineer verifies the carbon footprint based on records acquired from electric, gas, water, and waste service providers. Validation of each facility is accomplished by auditing the Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emitted or reduced over a period of time based on billing information provided by the utility company. A detailed accounting can reveal utility billing errors and overlooked subsidies.


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“Most shops have overlooked municipal subsidies or overcharges,” says Steven Schillinger, Administrator of the Green Garage program. “A majority of overpayments, mis-billings, mis-classifications, and overcharges are identified during an initial audit while overlooked rebates and subsidies are identified during the Grant funded due diligence process,” continues Schillinger.

Schillinger also stated, “Nearly 100 cities in 31 states now recognize businesses that have established a Greenhouse Gas inventory system under the EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program. Recognition in a GHG reduction program can increase shop revenues, reduce risk and contain costs, while identifying benefits usually only obtained by fortune 1000 companies.”

Most Clean and Green City policy makers use GHG inventories to track emission trends, develop mitigation strategies and policies, and assess progress. An inventory is usually the first step taken by shop owners that want to go green by measuring their GHG emissions rating.

To date, 27 states have enacted legislation enabling municipalities to establish PACE (property assessed clean energy) subsidy programs. These subsidies allow property owners to finance eligible green garage projects and repay those loans through a special tax assessment on their property tax bill over a long-term period, typically 15 to 20 years.”

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