U.S. Rebates & Incentives Update: September 2018

September 19, 2018 Chad Holder

U.S. Rebates & Incentives Update: September 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 August rebates and incentives from around the U.S.

Set Your Own Incentive Amount for Your Project

Consumers Energy began a new specialty pilot program to help businesses implement large projects that have stalled or have been tabled due to negative impact on ROI. This program is designed specifically for national accounts.

Companies that can show their energy efficiency projects have been postponed due to budget constraints or other financial reasons may submit an RFP to request an incentive amount that would meet the fiscal requirements for completing those projects. For instance, you can name the incentive amount needed to meet ROI objectives. Instead of Consumer Energy’s $0.25 per watts reduced prescriptive incentive, your proposal request might be for $0.45 per watts reduced to meet your company’s ROI objective. (One caveat is the project cannot have started.)

It is important to note that this program is not meant to replace Consumer Energy’s current prescriptive incentives and there are a few more caveats to using this program.

According to Dave Keller, National Key Accounts Manager for Consumers Energy Business Energy Efficiency Programs, this is ideal for national accounts as it creates the ability to meet the minimum electric saving amount of 250,000 kWh by combing multiple locations.

According to Keller, “I have had several of my national accounts move projects from other states to Michigan because Consumers Energy provides the highest rebate in the county.”

It’s (Still) Bonus Season…But Time is Short!

Your window of opportunity is closing. Some utilities are now offering bonus rebates to encourage timely, energy efficient upgrades. If your company has been looking to complete an energy efficiency project, now is a good time to get started!

Some programs still in effect include:

 

BONUS REBATES: AEP – Indiana Michigan Power > Through August 31

AEP Indiana Michigan Power is offering cash bonuses on Prescriptive and Custom Programs. Bonuses include an extra 10% on all eligible prescriptive measures. The custom program provides:

  • An extra $0.01 per kWh for projects of <100,000 kWh
  • An extra $0.02 per kWh for projects of >100,000 kWh

Pre-approval is required and Small Business Direct Install projects do not qualify. Projects must be completed and received with final application by November 16, 2018.

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BONUS REBATES: Ameren Illinois > Through September 30

Ameren Illinois will be offering an EARLY COMPLETION BONUS for business energy efficiency projects finished by September 30, 2018. Ameren will add a 5% bonus to your incentive automatically!

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BONUS REBATES: 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 anytime.

Other Energy Efficiency Updates

Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans and Grants

The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.

Who can apply?

Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses in eligible rural areas.

How may the funds be used?

Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:

  • Biomass (for example: biodiesel and ethanol, anaerobic digesters, and solid fuels)
  • Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
  • Hydropower below 30 megawatts
  • Hydrogen
  • Small and large wind generation
  • Small and large solar generation
  • Ocean (tidal, current, thermal) generation

Funds may also be used to purchase, install and construct energy efficiency improvements, such as:

  • High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Cooling or refrigeration units
  • Doors and windows
  • Electric, solar or gravity pumps for sprinkler pivots
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor
  • Replacement of energy-inefficient equipment

For more information on this program, visit the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.

Industry Trends at a Glance

Increasing Access to Renewable Energy

As renewable energy has become more price competitive and more corporations have set sustainability targets, large customers are looking for ways to power their operations with 100% renewable energy. To give these customers the renewable energy they want, utilities in vertically integrated markets are developing new direct access programs and renewable energy tariffs

Gas Generation Continues its Rise

The Energy Information Administration expects natural gas to generate 33.1% of U.S. electricity this year vs. coal’s 29.6%. In 2019, gas’s share grows to 34.3% as coal falls to nearly 28%.

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