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U.S. Rebates & Incentives Update: December 2018

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

Disruptions Transforming the Utility Sector

As utilities continue to offer incentives to manage the grid more efficiently, companies may be encouraged or enticed to implement different forms of energy efficient equipment and technologies.

With the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicting that energy consumption across the world will increase by 56% by 2040, the push for improved efficiencies is all the more compelling. Regardless of whether the motive is to save the planet, relieve over-strained infrastructure nearing its breaking point or reduce corporate utility costs, it’s abundantly clear meeting this increased demand will require a smarter, more efficient grid.

Renewable Sources

In recent years, environmentally-minded and cost-conscious companies have taken a long look at renewable energies. While few facilities are running completely on renewable energy, many are considering incorporating renewable sources.

Renewable energy sources and the companies working to develop them are breaking the stranglehold of traditional power brokers (literally) on the industry. More energy sources controlled by a greater number of energy suppliers means stiffer competition; that old familiar fixture of market disruption should not be underestimated.

The Internet of Energy

Intensive demand for energy is no longer restricted to manufacturing facilities or other operations that rely on heavy equipment. With the Internet of Things bringing all sorts of objects online, more and more everyday devices are becoming energy-intensive devices. (Consider the added energy demand from a normal office building that now powers countless employee devices and an increasing number of vehicles throughout the day.)

With an estimated 10% of “connectable” devices currently online, this new market for energy demand is poised to explode. As connected devices grow in numbers and become more closely interconnected, more energy will be needed to power them which creates a virtuous circle propelling an ever-more advanced energy economy. (Source)

How California’s Camp Fire Will Impact Energy Buyers

Two Schneider Electric experts on California’s power market shared their thoughts on the most common questions raised from clients related to the Camp Fire. For those interested in current and future rebates and incentives, one response stood out:

It is possible that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) would go bankrupt due to financial difficulties that result from wildfire liabilities. If that happens, there's speculation PG&E would restructure into multiple entities to reconsolidate finances while also keeping the lights on. However, recent legislation and statements from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) indicate that the state is unlikely to let that scenario play out. Regulators would prefer to alter rules to allow PG&E to recover the liability costs. In this scenario, PG&E customers could see rate increases on their monthly bills, as PG&E would likely charge customers more for service to pay off their liabilities.

Funding is Still Available and Utilities Want Your Projects!

Kansas City Power & Light in Missouri

Kansas City Power & Light in Missouri is offering rebates with a 10% bonus (while bonus funds last) for commercial VFD and HVAC projects completed before March 15th. KCP&L has a cap of $100,000 or up to 75% of the cost. Rebates cover adding or replacing old HVAC units with more efficient units or retrofitting HVAC with VFD advanced controls.

Washington Gas Maryland

The Washington Gas Maryland Energy Savings Program Custom Business Solutions program is now available and offering incentives for installing energy efficient equipment not covered under the New Business Construction or Existing Business programs.  Financial incentives cover up to $3.70 per therm saved (capped at 50% of the total cost for retrofit projects or 100% of the incremental costs for new equipment).

Potential custom projects include:

  • Controls: demand control ventilation, demand-based hot water controls and optimizing boiler sequence of operations
  • Fresh air ventilation system
  • Heat recovery devices
  • Pipe, duct and envelope insulation

SoCal Water$mart

The SoCal Water$mart program offers cash rebates on a wide variety of water-saving technologies equipment and devices including irrigation controllers, spray nozzles and soil moisture systems.

SoCal Water$mart also offers a water savings incentives program. According to their website, “The Water Savings Incentive Program (WSIP) is designed for non-residential customers improving their water efficiency through upgraded equipment or services that do not qualify for standard rebates. WSIP is unique because it provides an incentive based on the amount of water saved.  

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