PSE powers small business recovery through energy savings
Four small businesses awarded a $45,000 energy efficient makeover

BELLEVUE, Wash. (6/15/2020) For more than a year, small businesses across our region have been struggling to stay afloat due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So PSE launched its Small Business Energy Makeover Contest to help four deserving local businesses save energy, cut costs and revitalize their operations. Each business received $30,000 in energy-efficiency upgrades and an additional allowance of $15,000 for cosmetic improvements – reducing energy usage by up to 20%.

“In a uniquely challenging and precarious time, small businesses have been forced to be adaptive to remain open, keep their workers employed, and pay their bills,” said Sarah Cann energy efficiency market manager at PSE. “PSE’s Small Business Makeover Contest provided an immediate boost to these businesses and helps model for others how to save energy and reduce costs.”

Meet the winners:

  • Maneki (Seattle): The city’s oldest sushi restaurant, Maneki, has been serving authentic Japanese cuisine since 1904. The restaurant has only twice experienced temporary closures: during World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic. Maneki’s upgrades include a new, more efficient hot water heater, energy-efficient kitchen appliances, LED lighting and a web-enabled thermostat to monitor and control energy usage.

  • Gotti Sweets (Olympia): Gotti Sweets makes custom cakes, pies and pastries from scratch. This local shop is a Black woman-owned and operated business that has demonstrated resilience against many hardships in 2020, while continuing to serve the community with love. At Gotti Sweets, PSE installed a ductless HVAC system for improved air quality and replaced lighting, and foodservice equipment.

  • The Seaside Spa and Salon (Coupeville): For 14 years, The Seaside Spa and Salon has thrived as a relaxing escape for locals and visitors. Although it temporarily closed during the pandemic, the owner hosted a fundraiser to support the local hospital and first responders. To conserve energy usage, PSE weatherized the business, updated the HVAC system and installed new LED lighting fixtures in the main salon.

  • James’ Place Child Development Center (Bellingham): James’ Place fosters a supportive, educational environment to help children grow and develop. The childcare center remained open during the pandemic to support first responders and essential workers with quality childcare. James’ Place received a new HVAC system for better air quality and energy-efficient window and lighting replacements to conserve energy.

PSE worked closely with each business to tailor the makeover for the most impact. Improvements included everything from installing new equipment to updating lighting fixtures and HVAC systems, as well as much needed cosmetic upgrades, such as new paint, flooring, cabinetry or COVID-19 related safety items like hand sanitizing stations.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” said Cann. “We received a tremendous response to the contest with nearly 2,300 compelling entries. It was a hard choice but the final four winners play a vital role in their communities and reflect the diversity of small businesses across Washington.”

The entire transformation of each business has been captured from beginning to end. KING 5 partnered with PSE on this contest and each businesses’ makeover story will soon be featured on Evening to highlight the upgrades, share energy tips and showcase how any business can save money and energy with energy-efficient equipment and waste-reducing services.

As part of the contest, PSE also offered free energy assessments to every small business nominated to help owners find ways to reduce their utility bills. To-date PSE has conducted nearly 100 of these throughout the Puget Sound region.

No matter the type or size of business, local entrepreneurs can take advantage of PSE’s energy-efficient and waste-reducing services that help save money and offer incentives to offset or eliminate upfront equipment and installation costs.

To learn more about PSE commercial rebates and programs, visit:

Media Contact:

Andrew Padula, 1-888-831-7250,

Puget Sound Energy is proud to serve our neighbors and communities in 10 Washington counties.
We're the state’s largest utility, supporting more than 1.1 million electric customers and nearly 900,000 natural gas customers.
We aspire to be a beyond net zero carbon energy company by 2045.
For more about us and what we do, visit Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.