BF: When analyzing a company’s expenditures, in which utility charges can Advantage IQ find the most significant savings opportunities? RS: Focus on the areas where you have the greatest expense and hence the greatest opportunity for cost savings. If you spend the most on electricity, look closely at your electricity costs and consumption. If you have a high natural gas requirement, you may want to look more closely at your natural gas bills. Your type of business will determine where your greatest energy efficiency opportunities reside. An office building has the greatest opportunities in the areas of lighting and heating, ventilating and air conditioning. A restaurant has greater opportunity in the cooking area. A convenience store should look at the energy consumed by their freezer/refrigeration equipment. BF: What are common causes for overcharges by utility providers, and how can a company recover overpayments? RS: Meter malfunctions, being placed on a utility rate that is less than optimal, being billed for service for a facility that was closed or sold or receiving duplicate bills for the same facility or period are common errors found by Advantage IQ for our clients. Recovering utility billing errors requires that you identify the problem quickly and contact the utility provider to identify the problem as soon as possible. Comparing your monthly utility costs and consumption to prior periods is the best way to monitor your bills and identify errors. Identifying the problem prior to payment of the bill improves your chances of paying the correct amount. If you find an error after you have paid the bill, contacting the utility and documenting the error quickly will improve your chance of refund. Many utilities have limits on the amount of time for which a refund can be claimed. BF: What solutions can a company employ to reduce energy expenditures and become more sustainable? RS: Communicate with your employees about the impact energy has on the bottom line and enlist their support in cutting energy waste. Turn off lights when conference rooms, offices and restrooms are not in use and turn off office equipment when employees go home for the day. Utilizing building automation systems where available and not over-riding equipment designed to maximize energy efficiency are further ways to save. U.S. Energy Outlook In February, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced some short-term energy outlook projections. • U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline by at least 2.7% in 2009, triggering decreases in domestic energy consumption for all major fuels. Economic recovery is […]
From the Desk of the Editor in Chief
A $700-million infrastructure initiative, national leadership in IT services and wind-power manufacturing give the Hawkeye State plenty of reasons to be bullish about the future.
In hard times, economic development specialists have created unique and innovative incentive packages to help ease the financial burden on existing companies and make it attractive for new ones to locate to their states.
Luxembourg is at Western Europe’s geographic core and has long been a major player in the surrounding market.
A new governor’s battle plan to energize a sluggish economy zeroes in on incentives that work and the growth of knowledge-based jobs in the Tarheel State.
Southern states, with lower business costs and a ready workforce, as well as a critical mass of suppliers, still rule in terms of foreign automotive investment.
Howard Hanna Moves Real Estate HQ to Cleveland Howard Hanna Real Estate will move the regional headquarters of its 21-county operation in Ohio from Seven Hills to Cleveland. It will consolidate its operations in the downtown Warehouse District at 800 West St. Clair, the former location of recently acquired Realty One. “With the help of Councilman [Joe] Cimperman, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and the City of Cleveland’s Economic Development Department, we were able to show the unique assets available to businesses that made Downtown Cleveland the location of choice for the company,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson says. The city will provide to Howard Hanna an Urban Development Action Grant loan in the amount of $250,000, distributed over three years and likely turned into a grant if all loan conditions are met, including maintenance of employment levels. According to Howard Hanna executives, about 100 Seven Hills employees will join about 55 former Realty One employees downtown. More hiring is expected and the employment level will likely reach 200. Howard W. Hanna IV, president of Howard Hanna Ohio, said that in addition to taking over Realty One’s 25,000-square-foot office space, the company plans to lease another 5,000 square feet in the building to accommodate more staff. He said the company is making a “significant” investment into the property, above the loan amount, but did not provide a figure. “The decision to place our Ohio headquarters in the city solidifies our commitment to the region and Cleveland, which is one of the nation’s largest major urban centers,” Hanna says. “Before we entered the Ohio market in 2003, we were impressed by the vitality of Cleveland as a world-class city that offers outstanding quality of life and has an unlimited potential for business growth. That impression is not only lasting, it is deepened.” Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, with corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, is the fifth-largest full service real estate company and the third-largest privately held real estate firm in the United States. In a period of nearly six years, the company has acquired eight other real estate brokerages and expanded services to include insurance, mortgage options, title and escrow. It is estimated that the brokerage’s move will generate more than $1 million annually for the local economy. Howard Hanna says it expects downtown to grow in the next decade, with a resurgence of high-density, mixed used-urban developments. West Chester Medical Center Opening in May West Chester Medical Center, which broke ground in West Chester, OH in July 2006, is scheduled to open […]
Hemlock Semiconductor to Build $2.5 Billion Plant in Clarksville The Hemlock Semiconductor Group will invest up to $2.5 billion to locate a polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon) manufacturing operation in Clarksville, TN at the Commerce Park megasite in the northeastern edge of the city. If plans are fully implemented, it will be the largest corporate capital investment in Tennessee history. After a two-year global search of more than two dozen sites, The Hemlock Semiconductor Group, which includes two Dow Corning Corporation joint ventures, Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor LLC, finally decided on a location. “Tennessee’s business climate coupled with a superb site in Clarksville, a strong, productive workforce and an excellent location in proximity to our supply chain and customers made this the right decision,” said Hemlock Semiconductor President and CEO Rick Doornbos. “This investment will allow us to meet growing customer demand in both the near term and in the decades ahead.” The Clarksville facility will produce polycrystalline silicon, a primary component used to manufacture solar cells and semiconductor devices. While most of the polysilicon will be consumed by firms in the solar industry, the site also will have the capability to make ultra-pure silicon for the electronics industry as well as solar-grade material. Upon completion, the new facility will have the capacity to manufacture up to 10,000 metric tons of polysilicon annually with the potential to expand to a production level of 21,000 metric tons. Groundbreaking on the new plant is expected in March 2009 and will create up to 1,000 jobs in construction and related crafts during the building phase. Projected to open in 2012, the Clarksville facility itself will create 500 jobs with the potential of employing up to 900 people within five to seven years. The plant will occupy the entire 1,215-acre Commerce Park megasite and the company plans to acquire an additional 947 acres adjacent to the site for additional build-out and buffer space. “The exact scale of this investment will be determined by market conditions. Making this investment in today’s volatile economic climate is a testament to both the long term outlook of the solar industry as well as Hemlock Semiconductor’s ability to add capacity to meet the needs of customers,” said Doornbos. In conjunction with this new industrial development, Austin Peay State University has received a $6.4-million grant to develop and train a workforce for the incoming Hemlock Semiconductor Plant. This includes a new campus building, six new chemical technology professors and about eleven new professors for other core credit requirements toward the […]
Zoning, mineral rights and water rights move to the forefront in a regional relocation.