U.S. Rebates & Incentives Update: Q3 2020

September 25, 2020 Chad Holder

Schneider Electric helps organizations identify, qualify, pursue and obtain energy efficiency incentives. Each month our experts compile important news and notes. Here are your Q2 2020 rebates and incentives from around the U.S.

R&R in Today's "Normal"

This article is not about rest and relaxation, although many of us could use it. It is, however, about another R&R that appears to be flourishing during this challenging time. It is the resilience and resourcefulness of the business community. Companies are challenged daily to respond, in real-time, to new ways of managing resources and unusual and unforeseen demands on every aspect of their operations. As companies implement re-opening strategies, decisions are being made around resilience, responsiveness, personnel, supply chains, risks and revenues.

Resilience

The global health crisis has heightened awareness of the importance of healthy, safe, and resilient working environments. From an energy perspective, microgrid and demand controls represent one aspect of a resilient strategy. Businesses might effectively integrate on-site generation that adapts energy usage to demand and variable occupancy while accommodating flexible in-office and work-from-home strategies.

From this microgrid perspective, R&R may prove to be most effective when, according to Mark Feasel, President – Smart Grid for Schneider Electric, the solutions are met “where most of the world is – the grocery stores, elementary schools, fast-food chains, and the myriad of other businesses housed in small to medium-sized buildings, to name a few. Feasel advises that in order to change the energy landscape, businesses and organizations need to consider “designing the kind of microgrid that could go into a fast-food chain...That’s what’s going to create a resilient infrastructure that people interface with daily.”

Although scarce, few utility companies are beginning to respond to microgrid projects through their incentives offerings.  For instance, PECO, a Pennsylvania-based utility, is offering a $20/MWh performance incentive on CHP (combined heat and power) projects.  Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&) offers incentives up to $2.5 million for installing a CHP system and qualified projects are eligible to receive an incentive of $1,200/kilowatt (kW) up to and including 1 megawatt (MW) and $900/kW over 1 MW.

Another resourceful approach to a microgrid strategy is New York State Government’s NY Prize Pilot program. It is a $40 million competition designed to engage communities in creating microgrids and other local energy networks that can function separately from the utility grid.

Resourcefulness

In July, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) offered one of the first initiatives addressing return-to-work concerns by supporting a healthy building infrastructure initiative.  TVA is providing incentives to businesses and schools to install ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) that remove viruses, like COVID-19, and bacteria from indoor air.  These germicidal lights can be installed in the ductwork of many existing commercial HVAC systems and the incentive $30 per ton toward the adoption of approved UV technologies that directly combat COVID-19. 

SRP, an Arizona-based utility, is offering a similar rebate for UVGI systems. As part of its response to COVID-19, SRP is offering a rebate of $30 per ton. SRP is also “offering a free webinar to understand what Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) for HVAC systems is, and why the CDC has recommended this method to help make the workplace safer.”

Company R&R is responding to a new disruption, causing us all to flex and morph as conditions dictate. With the emphasis on returning to the workplace and the need to allay employees’ fears around doing so, we will likely continue to see new workplace strategies and utility incentive programs that support some of those strategies.

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