But have you ever looked into utility incentives or rebates?
As many investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and government agencies have focused on reducing energy consumption over the past few years, it’s become easier for companies to leverage utility incentives and rebates to pay for their compressed air improvements (among other projects).
The good news is that more and more options are available that you can take advantage of as you research different methods to fund potential compressed air projects at your facility.
Here are four ways to find different incentive and rebate programs you might qualify for to help fund your next potential compressed air project.
Available on the website of the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (part of the U.S. Department of Energy), the FEMP Energy Incentive Program is a great place to start out with if you’re looking for energy-efficiency and renewable energy efficiency project funding.
You can explore:
Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you can search by each state to see a summary of available energy incentives.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is described as “the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.”
Started in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University and is a great resource for all things incentives.
DSIRE’s site is very easy to use. You can click on each state to find out how many incentives and policies are available for energy renewables and efficiency, as well as filter by program type, category, and more.
Another helpful resource affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Tax Credits, Rebates & Savings page is a third way to search nationally available rebates by state.
You can filter by eligibility (commercial, industrial, etc.) and by numerous different savings categories spanning from comprehensive measures/whole building to energy management systems/building controls to HVAC – and, of course, compressed air.
Another easy way to research different utility incentive programs is to go straight to your electric utility’s website.
Though calling or emailing them directly them is helpful, you can quickly sift and sort through their programs by visiting their websites as well.
Here are some examples of utility incentive programs offered by two American electric utility companies:
One of the largest utility companies in the U.S., Duke Energy services 7.5 million electric retail customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida.
For their business/commercial customers, Duke Energy provides different resources and programs aimed at lowering energy consumption and improving efficiency like Smart $aver®, where you can get cash back on high-efficiency upgrades.
This includes HVAC equipment rebates and process equipment rebates.
For example, as of November 2017, for companies in Indiana, there are rebates of $20/SCFM available for compressed air audits and leak repairs and of $200/drain for no-loss condensate drains.
Duke Energy also has their Smart $aver Custom Incentive program for high-efficiency equipment projects that fall outside the scope of the standard prescriptive program.
Designed for projects like upgrading compressed air systems or installing building automation controls, this program helps to offset the costs involved in energy-related projects.
PPL Electric Utilities serves about 1.4 million customers in 49 countries and is so dedicated to energy savings that they have an entirely separate website for it: https://www.pplelectricbusinesssavings.com/.
By going to their website, you can search rebates by type and end up on their specific rebates for compressed air. There, they explain the “custom project rebates of $.06/kWh saved annually toward new construction, retrofits, building upgrades and more” that you may qualify for.
In addition, you can estimate your rebate right on their site by calculating energy and demand savings for several different measures including air tanks for load/no load compressors.
Other rebate types potentially worth exploring include building controls and grants, loans, and tax credits.
As you are finalizing your energy plans for this upcoming year and looking for different ways to finance potential compressed air projects, don’t overlook utility incentives and rebates.
Instead, make it a goal to explore the different opportunities available to you so you don’t miss out on ways to offset your project costs; you won’t regret it!
Curious to know more about an example of a project a major automotive company utilized a utility rebate to help pay for? Then check out this case study talking about how Bay Controls worked with Fiat Chrysler’s plant in Kokomo, Indiana, and networked their air compressors together.