Since most people seem to be resisting taking any of the EnergySmart and EnergyWise booklets that I have so copiously dispersed around town, I figure that it is probably because these people don't know what these programs actually are. In light of this, I figure that I'll take the liberty of telling all of you dear readers of their merits.
The EnergySmart program involves signing up for and getting an assessment of your home through ORE, during which one of their contractors will come perform a safety and energy inspection of your house. This assessment will help determine any quick, immediate improvements that you can make to reduce your house's energy use, as well as various long-term considerations for bolstering the energy integrity of your house. When you actually get around to doing these retrofits, EnergySmart will help you to fund them via rebates and/or loans.
EnergySmart Business, which used to be called EnergyWise, is essentially the same services, just reworked for businesses. The business incentives here come in the form of public recognition, cost savings, and the overall viability of one's business. The EnergySmart Business program emphasizes conserving electricity, water, and waste (in the form of recycling), as well as on responsible sourcing and investments and on community outreach. Ideally, the combination of all of these things will come together to bolster the sustainability of local businesses. Though I'm probably sounding like a broken record, the Green Business Directory lists a whole slew of area businesses that are members of this program, and thus is a good place to see how these businesses are involved in the EnergySmart Business program.
In fact, the network of all three of these programs - EnergySmart, EnergySmart Business, and the Green Business Directory - is a great start for bolstering our community's energy literacy; our familiarity with our own energy use; and local support for area businesses, homeowners, and their efforts towards sustainability. So, without further ado - and this is by no means intended as some sort of sales pitch - I urge you faithful readers to at least read the booklets for EnergySmart and EnergyWise, if not actually sign up for an assessment of your house (even renters can enjoy some of the benefits of these services). Even better yet, support and encourage some of the businesses who are involved with EnergyWise so that they know that their efforts have not gone unappreciated.