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US Rebates & Incentives Update: October 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.

Growing a Successful Rebates & Incentives Program

Some company rebate programs are more successful than others. The revenues from these programs can vary from thousands of dollars to well into the millions. And they are not always based entirely on the size of the company. In fact, we’ve learned there are several key factors that contribute to the rebate program's growth and potential.

The 7 most predominant are:

  1. Dedicated resources who serve as the interface and point of contact for the company’s rebate program. This may be a person or a team with varying levels of expertise, including energy management, facilities management, supply chain management or construction management.
  2. Access to equipment information and invoices. This may include access to client’s service/invoice database or to a person who is responsible for submitting documents and information to our Energy Analysts.
  3. Access to vendors that can provide material and labor invoices.
  4. Regular reporting, including regular submittals of planned projects, new construction plan sets, retrofits, and equipment and labor invoices.  
  5. Active engagement, including status updates, emails and conference calls. Engagement also includes accessibility and responsiveness.
  6. Company commitment to energy savings, energy efficiency and rebate potential income.
  7. Other internal resources who are responsive to requests for information and support the incentive capture effort.

When energy efficiency and savings are corporate drivers, incentive capture programs like equipment rebates are “the low-hanging fruit”. Our successful clients know one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to improve their bottom line is to reduce energy consumption, and they look for ways to take advantage of utility incentive programs.

Each year in the U.S., $4 billion+ is available in rebates and incentives dedicated to energy efficiency projects. Currently, utilities offer ~40,000 rebates and incentives opportunities for energy efficiency technologies for commercial businesses.

Bonuses Rebates are Still Available!

DTE Energy (Through October 31)

DTE is doing its part to clear out all remaining T12 linear fluorescent lighting fixtures and replace them with new DLC-Certified LED fixtures and retrofit kits. For a limited time, DTE is offering increased savings values and a 40% bonus on the Base Incentive rate for these replacements.

To receive the 40% bonus projects must be submitted prior to October 31, 2018. Projects submitted after the deadline are subject to Base Incentive Rates. Funds are limited and this offer may end at any time.

Energy Efficiency Updates

Water and energy are intertwined. Producing energy uses water and providing freshwater uses energy. Both these processes face growing limits and problems. Some utilities are beginning to offer rebates and incentives to support water management.

SUEZ Conserve

SUEZ is offering rebates on water-saving devices installed after June 21, 2017. The New York-based utility's offer includes low-flow toilets, irrigation controllers and ENERGY STAR-rated washers.

SoCal Water$mart

Through the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, SoCal Water$mart Program businesses are eligible for generous rebates to help encourage water efficiency and conservation. The SoCal Water$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.

Industry Trends

Natural Gas Consumption Comes Close to Record High

Natural gas pricing plays a key role in electricity power pricing due to the increasing reliance on natural gas-fired generators as nuclear, coal, and oil generation is retired and mothballed. As the marginal unit of generation, gas prices are directly correlated to power pricing. Gas production is expected to continue to grow. However, there is speculation that demand growth will outpace supply and present upside risk to power pricing in the future.

The State of the Sustainability Profession, 2018

The sustainability profession has evolved significantly over the past 10 years, and it’s encouraging to see progress. More companies are communicating what they are doing. In 2017, 85% of the companies in the S&P 500 Index published sustainability or corporate responsibility reports. That’s a significant change from 2011 when the Governance & Accountability Institute found just under 20% of S&P 500 companies published such reports.

The profession continues to evolve from its tactical origins of reporting and stakeholder engagement to that of business strategy, change management and on-the-ground execution.


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