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U.S. Rebates & Incentives Update: April 2019

Schneider Electric helps organizations identify, qualify, pursue and obtain energy efficiency incentives. Each month our experts compile important news and notes. Here are your April rebates and incentives from around the U.S.

Sustainability Checklist

Commercial and industrial organizations around the world have set ambitious 2020 renewable energy goals, and the deadline to reach them is fast approaching. Research shows many companies still have a lot of work to do in 2019 to meet the procurement gap.

Since finding a place to start to achieve those lofty goals can be challenging, Schneider Electric suggests using a checklist to accelerate progress to achieve your goals.

1. Figure Out Your Landscape.  

Conduct a footprint analysis by gathering all the baseline data you need to get started, e.g. your overall energy to understand your operational landscape. Then consider the geographies in which you operate. Do you lease your buildings? Do you have real estate for onsite systems?

2. Understand Your Tools and Resources.

Which of these will most effectively help you reach your goal? Learn more about renewable energy markets in your operational regions. Use this knowledge to develop an opportunity map and feasibility study that will guide organizational decision-making.

3. Take a Deep Dive.

Based on your opportunity analysis, seek to understand the array of renewable energy products available to your company and which align best with your organization’s mission. Research the risks and upsides to each potential strategy.

For more ideas, click here for Schneider Electric’s 2020 Goals Checklist

Rebate Dollars vs. kWh Savings

One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is “Where can I get the best rebates for upcoming projects?” Our response is always: “It depends”. The question is a simple one, but the answer is dependent on certain conditions, including: 

  • The utility. Every utility is different.
  • The equipment. Some measures carry more rebate dollars than others. (Again, it depends on the utility and the type of programs they offer.)
  • The funds and timing. These also depend on the utility.

If some of this seems circular, it is probably because it is. A utility program that offered hefty rebates on specific equipment in 2018 may not offer that same program in 2019. The equipment type may change or the value of the rebate may change, or the program for that equipment type may be eliminated.

To help you make sense of these, we provide guidance using data on how to evaluate your project for kWh savings and take advantage of the best rebates. You will often receive the best value on your rebate dollars when you apply those dollars to projects and equipment that yield the highest savings per kWh.

Many companies today are looking at solutions beyond equipment to energy savings as the driver for immediate and long-term decisions. The advantage of this approach is that it applies across utilities, equipment, and programs. If you currently track your energy consumption and costs, a cost and usage report would help to identify valuable savings information.

2019 Utility Funding Announcements

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd)

ComEd just increased incentives, including:

  • LEDs increased by 25% from $.40 to $.50 per watts reduced
  • VSDs for HVAC fans and pumps increased by 33% from $60 to $80 per HP
  • All electric injection molding machines increased by almost 30% to $45 per ton
  • Hybrid injection molding machines increased by 25% to $37.50 per ton
  • Air compressors with integrated VSDs ≤ 150 HP increased by 13% to $85 per HP
  • Sizeable incentives for chiller replacements

Certain projects without a standard incentive can earn custom incentives as much as 71% higher than in 2018.

Xcel Energy – South Dakota

Rebates are available for LED high/low bay fixtures that are installed to replace existing HID fixtures. Qualifying fixtures that have an invoice date of January 1, 2019 or later are eligible to receive these rebates.

Changes to Rebate Levels: As LEDs continue to grow in popularity, the unit cost associated with this technology has decreased. Note that Xcel Energy South Dakota has aligned its rebates with current market pricing.

Duke Energy – Ohio & Kentucky

Smart $aver funds are still available for Duke Energy business customers in Ohio and Kentucky. These funds offset the cost of energy efficiency upgrades and help optimize building performance now and for years to come. Duke Energy is still accepting applications on rebates or incentives on already completed projects and reserving funds for future projects before they run out.

Cascade Energy – Oregon

The Cascade Natural Gas Commercial and Industrial Incentive Program provides cash incentives to commercial building owners for installing high-efficiency natural gas equipment. Improving energy efficiency can save your business money by lowering operating costs.

Incentives are available for the following upgrades:

  • Heating
  • Kitchen Equipment and Appliances
  • Water
  • Weatherization