Ask the Expert: How does the Market Access Program (MAP) Apply to Energy Efficiency Projects in 2023?

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Reed Lehto - Director of Energy Program Management - PEC Team Photo
Reed Lehto – Director of Energy Program Management at PEC

As energy costs soar and the demand on the electrical grid rises, the California Market Access Program (MAP) aims to significantly reduce peak energy usage by driving high-savings efficiency projects through increased limited time incentives. PEC’s goal is to help our customers secure the highest incentives possible through this program, offering long-term cost savings for you, and immediate benefit to California’s electrical infrastructure.

What we’ll cover:

  • General overview of the Market Access Program (aka MAP)
  • MAP Incentive rates for 2023
  • Program administrators
  • Qualifying projects and eligibility requirements
  • Program deadlines
  • Funding amounts available

What is the Market Access Program (MAP)?

The Summer Reliability Market Access Program, or SRMAP (also known simply as MAP) is a unique and lucrative energy efficiency incentive program created in response to a 2021 emergency proclamation by Governor Newsom, which directed state agencies to address a statewide shortage of electricity. As part of this proclamation, the California Public Utilities Commission authorized the Market Access Program as a strategy to aggressively reduce peak demand.

The program will fund up to $150 million of projects that generate peak savings (7 to 9pm) during the summers of 2023 and 2024, with incentive payments based on actual savings at the meter.

Utilities will provide either quarterly or trimester-based performance payments calculated through actual metered savings. Incentives are higher than those offered through traditional utility programs, and are based on a variety of factors, including building type, the combination of energy efficiency measures implemented, and, most importantly, quantity of savings occurring during or near peak hours.

As a benefit to our customers, PEC is offering up-front payment of the projected performance incentive to allow for the lowest net project cost possible.

What are the Market Access Program’s incentive rates?

MAP incentive rates are complex to calculate and vary depending on the unique features of each project. For SCE and SDG&E customers, this program offers incentives that have the potential to be double that of existing custom programs. For PG&E customers, incentives are significantly higher, and may even cover 100% of the cost of lighting projects.

Who administers the MAP program?

MAP is administered in partnership between in-house utility teams and third-party program implementers. These implementers then work with a roster of “Aggregators,” firms that partner with customers and contractors to analyze project savings, facilitate project review and approval through utilities, and manage the project’s performance payments after installation.

As a meter-based savings program, MAP is simple in concept, yet is composed of a complex array of stakeholders. PEC’s goal is to simplify this process for our customers and offer as seamless an experience as possible.

What types of projects qualify under MAP?

SR MAP targets commercial projects with high potential for peak demand energy savings. These sectors include warehousing, large commercial without significant refrigeration or process loads, big box stores, supermarkets, auto dealerships, and more.

Note that solar net-generating sites are not good candidates for MAP. Generally, the program’s goal is to achieve a peak usage reduction of at least 5-10%.

While multiple measure types are eligible, PEC’s focus in the MAP program is on lighting.

What funding is available through MAP?

The program received an initial $150 million of funding, distributed across California’s major utilities. PEC is focusing on the MAP offerings from PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE.

As of July 2023, ample funding remains available, though programs are expecting interest to rise significantly in the latter half of this year. Projects must complete installation and finalize all paperwork by the end of the 2023-2024 program cycle in order to qualify.

As of July 2023, funding for a new program cycle has not yet been determined, so the time to act is now.

What are the MAP program deadlines?

Projects must be fully installed and all paperwork filed with the program by March 31st, 2024.

What are the 2023 eligibility requirements for the Market Access Program?

Requirements will vary slightly by utility, but generally include:

  • Customer must pay the Public Purpose Program surcharge as part of their electric bill.
  • Site must have potential for at least 5-10% peak reduction through qualifying program measures.
  • Must have at least 12 months of electric usage available.
  • Installed measures cannot be incentivized by any other ratepayer-funded program.
  • On-site solar and/or planned EV infrastructure additions may disqualify projects due to their impact on usage over the performance period.
  • Projects must be Title 24 compliant.

About the PEC Incentive Team

Taking advantage of energy incentives is critical for maximizing impact of your efficiency upgrade, but can be a confusing and complex process to navigate. The PEC incentive specialist team has built relationships with incentive programs from the largest utilities in North America, and has the expert knowledge required to ensure your project qualifies for and moves seamlessly through the incentive approval and payment process.

Your incentive should feel like a discount, not a project of its own. Learn more about how team can help you save time, energy, and feel confident you are maximizing incentives for your project.

Work with PEC for turnkey project support

Pacific Energy Concepts is North America’s leading provider of energy efficiency solutions for commercial and industrial businesses. We specialize is providing custom, turnkey efficiency solutions including LED retrofits, EV charging stations, energy monitoring, and HVAC Smart Motor retrofits to help businesses slash energy waste and transform their working environment.

With end-to-end services including solution design, procurement, installation, incentive management, warranty support, and unparalleled lifelong customer service, it’s no wonder why blue chip clients like Costco, IKEA, Reliance Steel, Epiroc, Alaska Airlines, and over 5,000 more have depended on us to deploy efficiency upgrades that maximize impact.


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