Chamber members save on energy costsWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost 500 members of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce are saving on their electric and natural gas costs through special energy programs.
“It’s all about pooling our buying power to offer members one more opportunity to save,” said Wendy Gramza, executive vice president of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, about the Chamber Energy Solutions (CES) program.
Leveraging the buying power of its membership base helps members reduce the cost of doing business through group programs that offer savings on everything from energy to office supplies, Gramza said.
CES was formed to assist local business owners with their energy needs and costs. It partnered with the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce to maximize savings on electricity and natural gas through group programs for each.
The CES electric program has secured competitive pricing for electricity through May 2014 for members through First Energy Solutions. There are currently 338 members saving up to 20 percent per year.
The CES natural gas program is helping 114 members save on their natural gas costs by negotiating a lower base rate for this group. It not only allows members to buy gas when the pricing is advantageous, but provides insurance against dramatic rate increases in the natural gas market.
Paul Gilis, owner of Zoup! in Maumee, said his business has saved 27 percent on the cost of electricity since joining the CES electric program 19 months ago. Gilis also said he changed all of Zoup!’s lighting to LCD and LED lights after having a free energy audit conducted by Gross Electric of Toledo.
Gilis said he has taken advantage of other member benefits at the chamber and will be meeting with the chamber soon to discuss participation in its group workers’ compensation program.
Tom Weinrich, president of Metal Forming & Coining in Maumee, is another of those benefiting from the CES program.
“Participating in Chamber Energy Solutions has been good for our company,” Weinrich wrote in an email to Toledo Free Press. “The chamber makes it easy to participate so I can concentrate on other aspects of my business. Harnessing the power of business saves chamber members time and money.”
CES is locally owned and operated by Palmer Energy Company of Toledo, a member of the chamber. The company is an outside independent source for securing a reliable supply of energy at the lowest practical cost for its clients, according to its website.
Founded in 1980 as a gas brokerage firm, Palmer Energy has evolved into an energy manager for more than 250 entities with thousands of locations. Palmer Energy is headquartered in Downtown Toledo, with a branch office in Cleveland.
Palmer Energy operates two additional energy group programs, Growers Energy Solutions, administered by the Maumee Valley Growers Association, and Alternative Gas & Energy Solutions, administered by Green Energy Ohio.
The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce also offers its members access to a competitive group health insurance program through Medical Mutual.
Medical Mutual offers small businesses versatile health insurance options with several plans available, including dental, vision, group life, accidental death and dismemberment and short-term disability insurance.
Chamber members can reduce their premiums for workers’ compensation through a group pooling program administered by V&A Risk Services, a third-party administrator for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).
Ohio’s BWC offers a 10-step “Business Plan for Safety” that provides a framework to help companies develop a culture where all employees learn to manage workplace safety and health.
The chamber also offers its members a discounted office supply program through Office Depot, a YMCA discount program and Chamber EDGE, an online education program.
For more information about any of the programs, visit the website www.toledochamber.com.
Tags: Alternative Gas & Energy Solutions, Chamber Energy Solutions, Green Energy Ohio, Growers Energy Solutions, Maumee Valley Growers Association, Palmer Energy, Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, Wendy Grazma