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Local businesses can apply for program to save energy

coalition of local businesses and nonprofits throughout the state are collaborating to develop and launch a new pilot program that will make it easier for local businesses to save energy and money by implementing sustainable practices. The Sustainable Communities Accessing Lending and Expertise Upon Performance (SCALE UP) program will emphasize local energy, water, and transportation conservation and train business personnel to apply concepts and practices of benchmarking, evaluation, and implementation of upgrades for their business facilities, coupled with financial incentives. The program will recognize participating businesses as sustainability leaders in the community that are taking steps toward making Tucson a more environmentally friendly community.

SCALE UP will provide an exclusive opportunity for locally owned independent businesses, nonprofits, houses of worship, multi-family and educational institutions to lower their utility costs. Through six weekly workshops, the program will educate businesses on general sustainability planning topics, efficiency/conservation techniques, and the basics of developing a sustainability plan. A companion program workbook will provide discussion exercises and worksheets that will form a sustainability plan to achieve at least a 10 percent reduction in energy use in a participant’s building and will then provide them access to an exclusive loan and incentive package created for program participants.

Benefits for qualified businesses include the following:

• Save significantly on energy/water bills through profitable upgrades and property value increases from lower operating costs.

• Receive grants and loans with financial analysis to support energy, water, transportation, and waste reduction projects that can significantly reduce the cost of projects.

• Develop sustainability goals and plans to reduce carbon emissions for better quality of life.

• Learn to create a healthier environment for your employees and patrons.

• Recognition as a sustainability leader in the community.

Access to special incentives that can drastically reduce the cost of new

How to apply

Applications are due by Wednesday, April 25, at 5 p.m. Workshops will be held on Tuesday evenings starting Tuesday, May 8 and ending on Tuesday, June 19. A limited number of buildings will be accepted for the pilot program based on available funding. A limit of two representatives per building can apply for the program (only one application per business is required). It is strongly suggested that two persons participate per business. Applications are available at

Program partners include Local First Arizona, Tucson 2030 District, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Community Investment Corporation, and the University of Arizona Office of Sustainability, along with businesses involved with both Tucson 2030 District and Local First Arizona.

For more information, contact Local First Arizona Southern Arizona Director Mike Peel at or 261-0824.