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City offers free evaluations Special To The Star-news | Sat, Oct 23 2010 12:00 PM

Here is what local businesses are saying about the FREBE program.

"We've built a partnership with the city of Chula Vista on becoming "green." It is incredible how much they have saved us in our utility bills! Seeing that entire savings going to our bottom-line is awesome!" - Red Lobster, Chula Vista

"We are happy to try anything to save energy. The evaluation really helped cut our costs!" - El Torito, Chula Vista

The FREBE program is a free on-site energy and water evaluation which allows businesses to gain valuable information on how to reduce their monthly utility costs and improve their bottom line.

The city's conservation specialists, who perform the evaluation in about 15 minutes, help identify no-cost and low-cost opportunities to save energy and water and assist in applying for any available rebate and incentive programs. For a limited time, businesses completing a FREBE evaluation also receive a free energy-saving "smart" power strip.

As of Sept. 30, 891 Chula Vista businesses had already completed an on-site evaluation for the year. Immediate benefits seen by the businesses include:

* Free assistance identifying ways to reduce monthly energy and water costs

* Free energy and water rebate assistance & zero percent interest financing options

* Free compact fluorescent light bulbs, "smart" power strips, or other devices

* Free training on ways to easily track energy and water costs

* Future notice regarding free services and rebates for specific business types

* Improved competitiveness by lowered monthly utility costs

A recent survey of past participants highlighted that 93 percent of evaluated businesses implemented a no-cost recommendation (such as adjusting thermostat settings, signing up for SDG&E's Energy Waves tool, or educating their employees about energy efficiency) and 64 percent implemented a low-cost recommendation (such as installing occupancy sensors, retrofitting to more efficient lighting, or servicing their HVAC system).

In addition, approximately 94 percent of respondents characterized the free evaluations as a positive experience and would recommend the program to other businesses.

For more information on the FREBE program or to schedule an appointment, contact the Department of Conservation & Environmental Services at (619) 409-3893 or conservation@ ci.chula-vista.ca.us.

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