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Tips to consider before taking your business green

By Fraser Allport


Start at the beginning and do some basic research. Go online and do a search for these key words: Energy and Water Efficiency / Savings. Reduce / Lower Utility Bills. Save Energy / Water. Reduce / Lower / Save Taxes, etc. Do both a local and worldwide search to find as many quality providers and ideas as possible. Then contact them and find out who is a good fit for your specific needs. You will be depriving yourself of the world’s best experts and ideas if you only search for local providers. An established and dependable provider will be able to work globally and deliver implementation and service right to your doorstep.


Ask to see the provider’s prior work and to speak with some of their clients. Speak with their clients who share the same issues/needs as you. The phrase “Going Green” may be fairly new, but energy, water efficiency and tax reduction are not. You will be amazed to learn what “Green” technologies are out there for reducing electric and water bills.

Initially, most providers will conduct a free energy, water and tax savings analysis. In the industry, it is a sign of goodwill and a necessary first step to collect data. This initial triage will give you a basic understanding of the provider’s specific capabilities and your project’s scope. This first step is designed to give all of the parties a Needs Analysis and an approximate Cost/Benefit calculation for your project.

This initial free analysis will give you a very good understanding of your options and costs. The free analysis is also a starting point for a more extensive “Site Survey.” As the term indicates, a Site Survey is an in-depth physical inspection of the property. Site Surveys are a minimal cost and can be undertaken with confidence once the initial Free Analysis indicates a project with an attractive return on investment and C/B Analysis. Honorable providers will apply the cost of the Site Survey to your project if you proceed.


Like any smart shopper, get at least three competitive bids from different providers. It is very likely that different providers will recommend different solutions. Not every bid will be apples to apples. One provider may recommend X and another recommends Y and both solutions are viable and valid. Your final decision will depend upon many factors, such as total project cost, financing options, written guarantees, service and warranty and your level of comfort with a provider. Just be prepared for different solutions and welcome that fact. Competition and choices are always beneficial for a buyer.


Not surprisingly,like any burgeoning Industry, the “ Go Green “ movement has attracted its fair share of amateurs and hucksters. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and turn your back on money-saving ideas because of a few bad apples. Do your homework and just be wary about excessive claims and promises. As with any smart buyer … Get It In Writing. A credible provider will give you a Contract with very specific written guarantees. Have your lawyer review the contract, and make sure that you fully understand the terminology and what deliverables you can expect. Lastly, have the provider give a specific date as to the completion of your project. As for Tax Incentives … It’s either in the IRS Code in black and white … or it’s not. You and your CPA can easily verify IRS Code sections right online at


This entire process has a very specific Goal for the property owner : Reducing Utility Bills and Taxes with Energy and Water saving investments that yield a fast return on investment (ROI). No property owner is going to embark upon a project that reduces their Utility Bills but simultaneously generates Negative Cash Flow. Especially not in these tough times when people are looking to save money, not spend it. Environmental and Economic concerns need to be in synch – they are inseparable and mutually dependent if these Green projects are ever going to get off the ground and be truly sustainable.

The Go Green movement today is being primarily driven by economic factors ( The need to cut costs). There is an economic component to Going Green that every prudent property owner understands – property investments have to make economic sense and generate positive Cash Flow within a reasonable time frame. That’s always been a truism.

The bottom line is that Go Green investments have to produce an attractive ROI or else they are economic non-starters.

Next week, we will talk about ways to insure the ROI on your investment.

Fraser Allport is the owner of Energy, Water and Taxes, a green company that focuses on helping businesses lower their bills through the use of green technologies. To learn more about Fraser, visit his Web site or click here to read more about Fraser on

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  4. The Necessity, and Tax Benefits, of Going Green
  5. Earth Day is over, but tips for being green are sustainable

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Dec 21 2009. Filed under Broward County, Emerging Green, Environmental, Fort Lauderdale, Local news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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