Energy Efficiency Helping Pizza Businesses Save Money


I grew up around small businesses. My mom successfully started, ran, and sold a number of different small businesses throughout my youth, and I have to commend her for doing it all while also managing to be a pretty excellent parent! High-five, mom! But, while she was (and still is) a fantastic entrepreneur, I do remember how stressful it was and the toll it took on her, emotionally and physically. Small business owners (SBOs) have a lot on their plates. They often wear the jaunty hats of owner, operator, manager, employee, assistant, janitor, bookkeeper, and that’s just the beginning. With those responsibilities weighing heavily and the economy dragging along slowly, the pressure must feel overwhelming at times.

Many things are on the ‘Stress List’ for SBOs– everything from the cost of health insurance to taxes to finding qualified and trustworthy employees to overhead costs, and so on. I would imagine that having one less thing to think/worry/stress about would be a welcome respite for SBOs (as well as, uh, the rest of the world) and one way to achieve that precious respite could be through the implementation of an energy efficiency plan.

Why’s that, you ask?

Well, according to Business News Daily, rising energy costs were listed as one of the biggest challenges for small businesses, along with rising fuel and raw material costs. Implementing a proven energy efficiency plan (that results in saving money on the electricity bill every month) would certainly qualify as a little bit of respite. Especially considering all the ‘good’ news we read about every day. Am I right?

Here’s a good example for you. The ABC 7 news team in Sarasota, Florida, recently ran a story about a small business and how it managed to significantly cut its electricity costs. Bob Richards is the owner of Crusty’s Pizza and, presumably due to the rising energy rates in Sarasota, he decided to install Smartcool’s ECO3 in his two walk-in coolers and the restaurant’s air conditioning unit. His decision to implement an energy efficiency plan resulted in impressive financial savings and those savings will have paid off his initial investment in the ECO3s in about one year. From that moment on, the savings he’s achieving on his electricity bill will go right into his pocket.

But, how much did he save, you ask? On his walk in coolers alone, he achieved savings of 30%! He seems pretty pleased with the energy efficiency plan he implemented – you can see him interviewed right here.

Everyone loves a happy ending and small business owners certainly deserve one! And also, way to go, Florida! We’ve previously noted that Florida’s energy use per capital is one of the highest in the USA. Bob Richard’s energy efficiency plan is a great example of how Floridians are taking steps to become more energy efficient! Keep it up! You get a high-five right after my mom!

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.


  1. Good post. I appreciate when bloggers draw attention to the unique sustainability and energy efficiency challenges of small businesses. I work to address these issues on a daily basis for SMEs in Northeast Ohio at COSE. We have designed a number of tools to help our member businesess understand the value of and ease their way into energy efficiency & sustainability. One tool is our Energy Resource Guide (, which provides checklists and case studies on energy efficiency for SMEs. Another is our Energy Grant program, which provides grant funding to finance energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades for small businesess. Hopefully we can help to ease several of our member businesses into the fold on these issues during this, Cleveland’s Year of Energy Efficiency.

    – Tim Kovach,

    Coordinator, Energy Programs at COSE