Two local businesses received small business advantage grants for energy efficient modifications to their buildings.
Transport Designs Inc., 240 Streibeigh Lane in Montoursville, and Cromaglass Corp., 2902 Reach Road, each received $7,500 grants from the state Department of Environmental Protection that they will match to improve their lighting systems.
Karen Mattie, office manager of Transport Designs Inc., said this is the second year the business received a grant.
Mattie first heard about the grant from Denise Bechdel, an environmental consultant from Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center.
"For both of these grants, I didn't know they were available until (Bechdel) came in to tell me," Mattie said.
In February 2009, Bechdel did an on-site assessment where she provided recommendations that would be cost effective.
The first recommendation Transport Designs followed was to add or upgrade insulation in the roof and walls, which could save $3,061 annually after about a five-year payback period.
This year, it followed the suggestion to replace all metal halide fixtures with energy efficient T-8 fixtures with electric ballasts. After a little more than a year of payback, it could save the business $3,383 annually. The grant will be used to replace 56 lights with the fluorescent lights.
Bechdel said T-8 and T-12 refer to the diameter of the bulb.
"The T-8s are the skinnier bulbs you see," she said. "The older T-12 bulb has an 1 1/2 inch diameter (which) are less efficient than the newer T-8 1 inch fluorescent tubes."
The T-8 lights also have a lower wattage, which makes them more efficient.
"We researched what light was most efficient when you pay big bills," Mattie said. "It's a very popular light right now."
While there are other items on the list Bechdel provided, Mattie does not know if they will continue to receive grants to do more renovations.
"There is only so much in funds," Mattie said. "Once it's gone, it's gone. I'm surprised they had the money (to distribute) with all of the cutbacks."
Mattie said the way to receive the grant is to show that after a year the renovations will save more than $1,000.
"With a small business, if you can save money on those utility costs, you want to do that," Mattie said.
Transport Designs is an industry leading manufacturer of custom motorhomes, toterhomes and enclosed trailers.
Ashley Bogart, Cromaglass marketing manager, said her company also will use its grant money for lighting improvements.
With regular lighting, Bogart said it consumed 57,297 kilowatt hours annually. When the new lighting is installed, it will use 28,686 kilowatt hours.
"We're very green," she said.
Cromaglass also will replace its T-12 light fixtures with T-8 fixtures.
Bogart said the T-8 fixtures have 80 percent more light output.
She first heard about the small business advantage grant from an email from the DEP.
"We took it from there," she said. "Denise Bechdel helped with the application process."
Bogart said she wants to apply for the grant in the future, but she does not know what the next project may be.
Cromaglass manufactures a variety of wastewater treatment systems. The company started in 1965.