How to Retrofit Your Building & Save Big on Energy Costs in 3 Steps

The U.S. Department of Energy states about 20% of all the energy we use in the US goes to power commercial buildings. In Pennsylvania alone, 16.9% of energy consumption (almost 700 trillion British thermal units) is from the commercial sector.¹

With those numbers, it’s no surprise businesses across the country and right here in PA are trying to decrease their energy bills in any way possible. Often, these businesses cannot afford to build brand new energy-efficient buildings, so instead they turn towards retrofitting their current facilities. Most buildings, even those built only a few years ago, can often see a significant reduction in energy use with a few simple upgrades.


  1. Get an Energy Audit
    • Energy Audits help businesses determine which upgrades can produce the fastest ROI and offers a first glimpse into how much they ultimately could be saving. Energy savings can be found in a variety of areas of a building including:
      • Lighting systems
      • HVAC Systems and Controls
      • Heat Recovery
      • Building Envelope Improvements
      • Electric Motors and Drives
      • Renewable Energy Applications
  2. Hire a contractor to complete the upgrades
    • After determining what upgrades are to be made in a facility, businesses hire a contractor to start updating the building. Soon, these businesses are able to bask in the glow of their new LED lights, be proud of their new energy-efficient HVAC systems, and of course, move onto the most promising step in the process…
  3. Monitor & Save
    • Once the installations and upgrades are complete, businesses can begin monitoring the changes in their energy usage and start reaping the benefits of energy-efficiency.

Is there funding available for my retrofits and energy upgrades?

Too often businesses find that they don’t have the budget to complete these energy upgrades. That’s where Sustainable Energy Fund can provide advice on which projects will produce the highest ROI, finding a licensed contractor and funding options to complete their upgrades.


  • Nonprofit Energy Savings Agreement – SEF helps you through all the steps
    • This is a three-party agreement between Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF), your nonprofit business, and a contractor to provide energy efficient upgrades. SEF or the contractor will provide an energy audit and if the project meets your approval and SEF’s qualifications, SEF will fund the project. This means we take care of paying the contractor of your choosing to install the energy conservation measures you select.
    • Each year following the upgrades, our staff will verify your savings to ensure the improvements are performing as expected. SEF will receive a portion of your utility savings during the term of the contract and once the term is completed, all future savings are yours.
  • Commercial Lending
    • Sustainable Energy Fund finances 100% of your energy-related projects to companies in the state of Pennsylvania. The projects must meet one of the following criteria:
      • Reduce energy consumption
      • Generate energy from a renewable source
      • Replace a “dirty” fossil fuel with a clean (or cleaner) energy source
    • Once a project is approved, there are no upfront payments, only the interest payments during construction. Your loan payments will be less than your monthly savings from the energy-efficient projects we finance. Our loan amounts vary depending on the project but can be between $5,000 and $1,000,000.

 SEF will help you move towards an energy-efficient future. Contact us today to get more information about how we can help.