From Abandoned Buildings to Thriving Businesses

TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions team has begun offering incentives to help business owners revitalize once-forgotten and unused spaces in new, fresh and energy-efficient ways.

JULY 2, 2019 —Where some see vacant and discarded structures, TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions (ERS) team is seeing opportunity. 

Aiming to promote growth and investment in the Tennessee Valley, TVA’s ERS has begun offering incentives to help business owners revitalize once-forgotten and unused spaces in new, fresh and energy-efficient ways. Currently, more than 15 projects around the Valley are participating in the ERS revitalization incentive program.

before and after pictures

“The incentives provided by ERS not only assist with the cost associated with renovating a building, they also spur economic development,” said Bryan Moneymaker, Customer Delivery project manager. “We have vacant buildings throughout the Valley, and these incentives help bring those spaces back to life—this time in a way that adds load to the power grid but is more energy efficient. This benefits our local power company partners, Valley business owners and residents, and also TVA.”

One example is Dan & Dave's Sport Quest in Mayfield, Kentucky. The business offers gym rentals, baseball training and sporting events. When they spotted an opportunity to move to a vacant, rundown YMCA building, they knew it would take major effort to renovate. 

“There was no way we could afford the utility bills with the shape the building was in,” said business owner Daniel Sasseen. “We knew we needed to insulate and change to LED lighting if we wanted to make the building work, and that’s where the ERS incentives came in.”

Partnering with local power company Mayfield Electric and Water Systems, TVA facilitated energy audits and power quality studies, which helped inform recommendations and the building’s energy usage potential. “From the information we gathered, I approached the owners and gave them a plan of what we could offer based on how much load the building would use,” said Moneymaker.

The incentives made locating to the building feasible for Sport Quest, who applied the funding toward the costs of installing new lighting and insulation throughout the facility. “This is where we see the ability to operate in this building and keep our utility bills reasonable, and not charge rates so high that our customers couldn’t afford to use our facilities,” said Sasseen. “Thanks to the manageable utility costs, we can provide a service that is less expensive, which we hope translates to greater involvement within our community.”

Sasseen said without TVA’s Revitalization Incentives program, their new space would still be a dream. “These programs allow small businesses to expand or grow, or even to start up,” he said. “We now have a fully functional, energy efficient building and are providing our community with an opportunity for recreation.”