U.S. Rebates & Incentives Update: Q2 2020

June 2, 2020

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.

How the Current Climate is Affecting Rebate Programs

Not many of us have thought about how the state of public health might affect rebate programs. And yet, here we are in an unprecedented time where businesses, organizations, governments and individuals are forced to consider the impacts of our health and well-being on industries and institutions. Where some clients have had to place projects on hold, others are continuing with their programs. We have seen changes in project staffing and halts in new construction, remodels and retrofits.

Utilities have also changed their approach to on-site inspections, application processes and timelines. But there are the silver linings, including:

  • Extensions of some application deadlines
  • Incentive bonus programs
  • Educational webinars
  • Program enhancements

Here is a look at the top five changes many utility rebates programs have implemented during these challenging times:

  1. No On-Site Pre- or Post-Inspections

Project inspections are conducted virtually, relying on digital pictures or Skype videos to verify and assure project compliance. Consolidated Edison (NY), DTE (Michigan) and PSEG Long Island (NY) are conducting virtual inspections and allowing photo submissions as documentation.

  1. Bonus Programs

Some utilities have been aggressive in offering bonus programs to further incentivize rebate projects. Among these utilities are:

  • Arizona’s Salt River Project (SRP) - EV charging station incentives are available and can be used retroactively from May 2019 and for any new installs.
  • Indiana Michigan Power - The utility is offering special bonuses on lighting, VFDs and refrigeration through August 31, 2020.
  • Colorado’s Excel Energy - The utility is offering bonus rebates for invoices dated on or after May 1, 2020. The bonuses include an additional 25% rebate on interior fixtures and new construction projects.
  1. Exploring New Technologies

Utilities are moving towards renewable energy in various forms, which creates the potential to offer new rebate and incentive opportunities. We are also seeing interest in microgrid technologies that offer resilience and energy efficiency. These new technologies offer opportunities in monitoring and sensor devices that may have custom incentive potential.

  1. Utility Education and Knowledge Sharing

We are seeing more webinars for customers (our clients) and trade allies. For instance, Centerpoint Energy just released its Foodservice ENERGYlink service replacing its Foodservice Learning Center. Their chart below “illustrates the cost difference between comparable natural gas and electric fryers with the same operating hours. A natural gas fryer can save approximately 52-70% annually in operating costs and has been doing so for decades.”

CenterPoint Energy is an electric and natural gas utility serving Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

  1. Funding Reserves and Program Nuances

SWEPCO Texas announced it has run out of commercial rebates funds, although SWEPCO's energy efficiency programs for Arkansas customers are still active and have funds available.

Hawaii Energy implemented a program where restaurants would receive double rebates for commercial kitchen equipment through May 31, 2020.

For more information on how energy efficiency and utility rebates and incentives in North America can benefit your organization, join our free Rebate Update e-mailing list. Or, to capture energy incentive dollars you may be missing, contact a Rebates & Incentives Energy Analyst.

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