[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Utility incentive programs have come a long way over the years. What was once was a discount for upgrading light bulbs or installing a new appliance has now become a customized, multi-tiered program(s) that drive incentives based on the effectiveness of the installation and upgrades. With efficiency standards rising each year, incentive programs have now focused on “whole-building” approaches to energy efficiency incentives.

Custom, multi-tiered incentives

Although basic discount incentives still exist, custom incentives bring the most savings for a customer. Facility specific energy efficiency projects can lower an organizations’ operating costs by more than 30%. Custom energy efficiency projects start with an audit performed by an energy engineering firm so that they can better understand the needs of the facility. After the audit, recommendations are made based on applicable solutions and incentive programs.

Custom means complex

Customer energy efficiency projects are highly valued by utility companies due to their high energy savings. Many utility companies will provide guidelines for organizations applying for funding that help them determine which tier a project fits in to qualify for higher incentives. Each state has based its incentives on different metrics and requirements, but there are a few key items to keep in mind when building a custom program.[/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2=””]

1. Make sure the data is accurate.
    • Total watts, lighting load, or installation cost, must all accurately reflect the project outcomes. Getting accurate data often requires an ESCO professional audit of the facility to qualify for incentives under state guidelines.
2. Do your research.
    • Do your research to determine which energy efficiency incentive is best for your organization. Make sure the project fits within your budget and consider a variety of options for your project. Any qualified energy engineering firm will work with you to help identify which projects will deliver the financial payback you are looking for.
3. Understand the small details.
    • There is a lot of fine print in high incentive utility programs. Make sure your organization reads the details for each project incentive. For example, a utility company may make a distinction between “high-performance lighting, enhanced performance lighting, and standard lighting.” Depending on which option you select, will change how much money you get.
    • These distinctions are explained in the fine print. If a part of the project is considered “high performance” and other parts are considered “standard”, there may be a determination of how much rebate/incentive funding is awarded, which can have an impact on the overall project cost and ROI.

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Final Thoughts

Although the complexity of high incentive utility programs may seem daunting to organizations, the payback is worth effort. These incentive programs can lead to efficiency projects that require no upfront costs and ROI of more than 30% on overall energy costs. Working with an energy efficiency firm that has the expertise of the various incentive programs can alleviate the stress of the application process while also maximizing your savings.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Interested in reviewing your current utility bill with one of our experts? Contact EEP today for a no-obligation discovery call.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]