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Green Programs

Did you know that there are programs designed to save you dollars and help the environment at the same time? Many of the local utilities offer rebate programs and free energy audits especially for businesses. Below is a brief summary of the most popular programs:

Join the Environmental Business (EB) Alliance
The City of Tacoma, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, Citizens for a Healthy Bay and Go Local Tacoma have joined forces to create the EB Alliance, which makes it easier for businesses to learn about sustainable business practices and showcases local businesses that are doing their part to help the environment.

Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tacoma-Pierce County (BEST)
The BEST Program  provides environmental audits to Tacoma area businesses to improve their environmental performance and save money. To schedule a free, quick and comprehensive BEST environmental audit, contact Citizens for a Healthy Bay at 253.383.2429 or email Bill Anderson at

Tacoma Power
Thanks to several programs offered through Tacoma Power, making your business more energy efficient just got easier. From lighting rebates to energy assessments, Tacoma Power can help pinpoint ways to use less energy and save money. They also financial incentives and zero-interest loans for the purchase and replacement of certain types of commercial equipment. If you are constructing a new commercial building, make sure to connect with Tacoma Power early for assistance in making the most energy-efficient and cost-efficient first choices. To learn more about how these programs can help keep your costs, down contact Tacoma Power at 253.502.8619 or visit the Tacoma Power website.

Tacoma Water
Tacoma Water is an important part of every business, from filling the coffee pot to industrial processes. Tacoma Water offers a number of helpful tips and resources for businesses.  Businesses can receive valuable rebates for water-efficient upgrades that will save water. They also offer advice on how your business can better conserve water. Contact Tacoma Water at 253.502.8723 or visit the Tacoma Water website.

Puget Sound Energy
If you are a Puget Sound Energy (PSE) natural gas customer and trying to get a better handle on your utility costs, PSE has energy-efficiency programs that can help businesses reduce their natural gas consumption and minimize expenses. For information on commercial gas conservation programs, contact a PSE Energy Advisor at 1.800.562.1482 or visit the PSE website.

Other Resources

The Institute for Environmental Research and Education (IERE)
The Institute offers Environmental Product Declarations (EPD’s), life cycle based eco-labels for products through their Earthsure® Program. IERE has helped Tacoma become the first Life Cycle City in the U.S. in 2011. For information on how the IERE can help promote your environmental stewardship, call 253.208.9702 or visit the IERE website.

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Biz Profile:

York Enterprises

Duke York

In Business since
Number of employees 13

Duke York had just retired from his position as a Superior Court probation officer with two children heading to college when he decided to start York Enterprises in 1997. As a sole proprietor with no resources other than a van, he’s grown York Enterprises over the years into an award winning, high-end construction company with 13 employees.

He built the first “all green” house in Tacoma after many months of negotiations with the City of Tacoma about the innovative techniques he wanted to use. Today, he’s proud that some of his early ideas and actions have paved the way for others in his industry using similar techniques.

Duke’s grandfather moved to Tacoma in 1905 and Duke and his wife Karen could never imagine leaving Tacoma with such deep roots. “I love the small feel of Tacoma,” says Duke. “Whenever I meet a new customer it never takes more than a few minutes to find a connection between us.”

Working in many other cities in the area, Duke absolutely believes the City of Tacoma is on the side of businesses. “The BLUS (Building Land Use Services) department is the most efficient and effective permitting department in the area,” says Duke. “In most of the surrounding areas, getting a permit takes three to five weeks. In Tacoma, I can often walk my client through the doors of 747 Market Street and walk out the doors with a permit the same day.”