As we spoke to local businesses we saw that some businesses are not capable of offering a portion of their energy consumption because they share the cost with the other businesses in the building. Some businesses weren't even excited about the promise of a promotional event and the positive PR that would come from doing their part for the community. (I won't name names, but the management was actually quite rude when we submitted our proposal.)
Possibly the most important concern that we encountered came from Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro. They brought up the point that due to their large building and the operational costs a 25% bid on their part could equal a 100% bid from the competing businesses. This information makes complete sense and highlights one of the issues of renewable energy: it does have a price-tag associated. At a rough average of 4 cents on the dollar profit margin for restaurants that increase in invisible energy with a very visible bill makes for a tough sell.
SF CarrotMob provided we contacted Sustainable Connections to see if they might be able to help us out with an Energy Audit to figure out where and how the business could benefit the most from retrofits and efficiency improvements. They have staff that is knowledgeable about energy efficiency and will be able to advise the management of the business how to best spend the revenue from the Mob.
At this stage in the process we aren't going to be able to accomplish the goal of completing the organization and execution of the CarrotMob by the end of the scholastic quarter.
This does not mean that the Mob is Dead!
The organization and communication is still in effect and moving ahead towards achieving rewards for local businesses taking action and improving their operations As progress moves ahead stay tuned to the Bellingham CarrotMob Facebook page for further updates and information.