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Last updated: February 20. 2013 4:20AM - 398 Views

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Four Luzerne County businesses are among 32 statewide that have been awarded grants to help pay for energy-efficiency or pollution-prevention projects.


The state Department of Environmental Protection awarded $239,809 in grants, including $22,518 of it to companies in this county. Those companies are:


• ADS Dry Cleaners in Luzerne received $9,500 and will use the funds to upgrade dry cleaning equipment that will be more energy efficient and will prevent pollution, in this case perchloroethylene.


• Nicholas Truck Sales in Luzerne received $6,939 for energy-efficient lighting equipment


• Mattern Flower Shop in Kingston got $4,567 for energy-efficient lighting equipment


• Skitco Manufacturing Inc. in Hazleton got $1,512 for energy-efficient lighting equipment


Becoming energy-efficient can involve an initial up-front investment that will be proportionally higher for small businesses, DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. The investment will pay for itself and more over time, but this program makes that transition more doable for Pennsylvania's small business owners.


Pennsylvania's Small Business Advantage Grant program, funded through the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, helps businesses with 100 or fewer employees. It provides 50-percent matching reimbursement grants of up to $9,500 to implement projects that will save 25 percent annually in pollution-prevention or energy-related costs. Since 2004, the program has invested $7.25 million in 1,720 small businesses statewide.


Of the $1 million in grants budgeted for the current fiscal year, this is the second of three announcements of selected grantees. The 32 new grants will create $812,987 of private-sector investment in small businesses.


Examples of eligible projects include high-efficiency HVAC and insulation upgrades, high-efficiency lighting to save energy, installation of energy-efficient heat pumps and new auxiliary power units that help large trucks reduce time spent with idling engines.


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