Service offers low power rates for shops

America Approved says a contract with them can cut electricity costs for woodworkers in their place of business

Most woodworking shop owners have to accept that energy costs are a fixed part of their overhead. But for those living in some states, there are significant money-saving contract options for them to lower future electricity bills.

America Approved Energy Services, an eight-year-old company, says it helps commercial entities in deregulated states save money on their electricity bill by an average of 20 to 50 percent on peak rates for the duration of a contract.

There are currently 16 deregulated markets in the United States. America Approved operates in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas. The initial consultation for a contract is free, and activation of the new plan will not burden shop owners, says company CEO Peter Jensen.

"We go into a business and conduct a free energy analysis on the business' electricity use - or 'crunch' - then analyze their bill and let them know their base rate from the last year. We just need copies of their last three months of the bill for the analysis," says Jensen.

Consultants will then tell clients what they can expect to pay during the next year to five years with their current plan, based on the average energy increase throughout the U.S. Jenson says the annual increase is typically 8 to 15 percent.

"Then we show them whatever they will pay over the next several years based on the contract they choose, and we lock them down to today's rates, which in most cases are lower than what they're paying now," says Jenson.

America Approved's current clients include AMC Theaters, America Airlines, Blockbuster video stores, World Gym and Days Inn.

Sherri Drum, a national consultant for America Approved, attended the AWFS Vegas fair in July to introduce the program to the woodworking industry. Having been vice president and general manager at Furniture Technologies Inc. in Adelanto, Calif., for more than 10 years, she has a relevant background in dealing with an outrageous electricity bill.

"We had 50 employees in a 35,000-sq.-ft. facility ... We were running on a three-phase, 240-volt power supply, so we were drawing a lot of energy with those machines. I can really identify with other shop owners," says Drum.

The average contract is for three years and can be made on a fixed or variable rate. Whether the client chooses their current service provider or a new one, the client will continue to pay their utility company and have the same local utility service and same line. Payments are still made to the energy provider, which in turn gives a percentage to America Approved.

Members will also receive the company newsletter, "The Volt," featuring energy-saving tips and other newsworthy information.

Contact: America Approved Energy Services. Tel: 760-953-3500. www.americaapproved.com

This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issue.