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Blazing a trail to energy efficiency for businesses

The Bloomington Sustainability Commission and Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) got the new Best Practices Energy Tour series rolling this summer. The tours are one of 19 strategies outlined in the City’s Energy Action Plan that aim to reduce home and business energy-related emissions by 75 percent by the year 2035. 

The tours are meant for Bloomington businesses to learn from one another, have easy access to program information and to celebrate energy successes. 

“It’s a great way for Bloomington businesses to quickly learn about ways to save money on energy from peers,” said Quality Bicycle Products CEO and Sustainability Commissioner Steve Flagg. “It was really fun to hear other people’s perspectives and share what we have going on here at QBP.”

Thirty-five people attended the first tour to learn about QBP’s conversion to LED lighting both inside their building and outside in parking lots, as well as their installation of rooftop solar panels. Many attendees also asked questions about QBP’s bike commuting program. The company pays employees $3 a day if they bike to work. The incentive actually adds up to money saved for QBP, according to Flagg. He says employees who bike make fewer health insurance claims. 

Two more energy tours are scheduled this fall. IKEA will host a tour of its facility on October 3 and Donaldson will host one on November 1. These tours are designed to showcase energy projects to other business owners, facility and sustainability managers and project managers. Xcel and CenterPoint will be in attendance along with representatives from the City. To receive an invitation or more information, contact Steve Flagg at