City leaders help businesses save on energy bills with new progr - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

City leaders help businesses save on energy bills with new program

Juiced owner goes green with the help of Americus city leaders. (Source: WALB) Juiced owner goes green with the help of Americus city leaders. (Source: WALB)
Juiced Owner Sylvia Rustad (Source: WALB) Juiced Owner Sylvia Rustad (Source: WALB)
Main Street Director Patrick Kay (Source: WALB) Main Street Director Patrick Kay (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

Two Americus businesses lowered their energy bills thanks to the city's help. 

Customers knew when they walked in Juiced they would be served gluten-free smoothies.

But what they didn't realize was how energy efficient the new storefront is.

"Them doing the project and benefiting me of course helped with my budget," said Juiced Owner Sylvia Rustad.

Rustad was one of the first businesses to get a grant from the city's new project coined "Turn the Lights On." 

"It's helping people improve their space being able to upgrade wiring," remarked Main Street Director Patrick Kay. 

The city's new $15,000 partnership with Georgia Power upgrades the electrical wiring in old, historic buildings. 

That means new LED lights and electrical outlets for Rustad.

"In order for students to be able to plug in, use the wifi, come in and relax, do homework," explained Rustad, and having a new breaker box, she can closely monitor her energy usage. 

"What's great about Juice is it's a brand new business in the downtown. And she was really excited about the program," said Kay. 

Businesses that want to go even greener must meet the following requirements: live in the central business improvement district downtown and no more than 20 percent of project costs can go to lighting fixtures.

If it's a yes, then the city could pay up to half or $2,500 maximum toward the project.

For Rustad, the city saved her 2,500 bucks. 

"It's quite valued - especially if the city is able to help with your budget," said Rustad. 

Juiced sells gluten free and vegan smoothies, wraps, soups and of course juice.

The store will officially open in the coming weeks. 

Also, city leaders said there's still nearly $12,000 available in the "Turn the Lights on Program" for businesses to apply for. 

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