Energy Incentives

By: Rose Southwell

Energy incentives are designed to encourage more efficient energy usage and reduce the overall demand on regional and local utilities.

Commercial and industrial facilities are some of the biggest energy and electricity consumers. Therefore, many electric utility companies provide specific programs that cover a portion of the cost (sometimes a very significant portion) of energy-saving projects like LED lighting upgrades and smart motors.

But, understanding the world of energy incentive programs can be complicated and overwhelming:

  • What could you be eligible for?
  • How can you optimize your energy project to make the most of available incentive programs?
  • How do you apply for incentives and rebates?
  • Where do you start?
  • How do you know you secured the maximum amount available?
  • Did you take advantage of bonus incentives?…

The list goes on.

Navigating the relevant & available incentives is time-consuming and meticulous work.

Your incentive should feel like a discount, not like a project of its own. 

We take this burden off our customers entirely by having an incentive management team that is dedicated to this specific task. Incentive management is a part of every incentive-eligible PEC project. Our customers are able to leverage our years of expertise with incentive and rebate knowledge.

We asked our Incentive Manager Reed Lehto (aka incentive extraordinaire – and bloody good long-distance runner) to share a few of the reasons why our customers find so much additional value in the incentive management provided with our turnkey projects.

Why is it important to work with a service provider that partners with incentive programs as a Trade Ally?

Trade Allies Are Plugged In. Evolving technologies, shifting markets, and updates to state regulations result in constant changes to incentive levels and program funding.

Trade Allies (such as PEC) work closely with programs to stay up-to-date on program offerings, understand program terms and conditions, and are the first to hear about bonus incentives.

Relationships matter in the energy efficiency world. We know where to go and who to ask. Thus, we’re able to open doors for your project that may have remained closed otherwise.  

How does lighting design impact incentives?

Optimized Design means an Optimized Incentive: THINK TWICE before swapping out fluorescent tubes for TLEDs, or even replacing inefficient fixtures with “value” LED fixtures one-for-one.

Many utilities offer performance-based incentives for designs that achieve optimal light levels with high-efficacy, quality fixtures at appropriate wattages levels, resulting in maximized energy savings and higher incentives.

Additionally, advanced control strategies often trigger higher incentive rates and unlock deeper energy savings. Treating your lighting upgrade as a system redesign and leveraging the appropriate expertise can save you more energy in the long term, and reduce your upfront investment in the short term.  

Why do we need to do a thorough energy audit?

Because accuracy counts to gain the full incentive amount. Utilities take a careful look at both your existing lighting system and other systems in your building to verify a project’s estimated energy savings.

The right service provider will ensure that wattages, counts, and other inputs are accurate. A poor audit leads to an inaccurate incentive estimate, leaving you on the hook for a higher net cost than anticipated. Partner with a service provider who knows what to look for and what impact is has on your incentives.  

Surely the application is simple enough?

The application process is often very detailed and time-consuming and often requires site-visits, photos and a significant amount of other paperwork. The right energy service company (ESCO) will keep your paperwork “light”.  

You have enough spreadsheets and documents to juggle while managing your business. 

As part of the turnkey project management process, a quality service provider will not only save you money, but also time, and should only need you to sign a few incentive documents here and there.

We manage the paperwork, site visits, and all communications with incentive programs.

Now is a great time to take advantage of some amazing BONUS incentives available to the end of 2020. Energy Trust of Oregon and Puget Sound Energy are two great examples of programs with some great bonus incentives.

We can help you discover the incentives available in your area all across the United States and help assess your eligibility. Get in touch