Easy Savings Opportunities for Businesses in Ohio

This post is part of our ongoing series on utility incentive programs.

In 2008, the Ohio legislature enacted Senate Bill 221 (SB 221), which established an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) and set annual electricity savings targets for all utilities through 2025. The SB 221 standard required gradual increases in annual electricity savings with an ultimate cumulative annual electricity savings over 22% by 2025. Although SB 221 has since been overturned, many Ohio utilities continue to offer energy efficiency programs, and in 2014 budgeted over $190M to promote these efforts.

In fact, a study released last month by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found huge potential for Ohio businesses to save money on their utility bills through energy savings programs. The study, Energy Efficiency Potential in Ohio, concluded the state has significant, cost-effective, and untapped efficiency potential. Here we dig deeper into one of those avenues for saving: incentives provided by major Ohio utilities Duke Energy, AEP Ohio, and Dayton Power & Light (DP&L).

Duke Energy’s Smart $aver Programs

How Does It Work?

Duke’s Smart $aver Incentive Program provides businesses with cash rebates for installing high efficiency lighting, VFDs, pumps, HVAC equipment (including chillers), information technology, industrial processes, cool roofs, and food service equipment. Smart $aver incentives are capped at 50% of the qualifying project’s incremental cost. In order to help you choose the most effective projects Duke also offers on-line, off-site, and on-site energy assessments for large businesses.

What’s New?

Qualifying updates have been expanded to include information technology, LED lighting, cool roofs, HVAC equipment (including chillers), and food service equipment.

Interested in Completing a Project Not Mentioned Above?

Enterprises looking to make efficiency updates not covered by the Smart $aver Incentive Program may apply to have their project approved under the Smart $aver Custom Incentive Program. If a project is approved the custom program will also rebate up to 50% of the project’s incremental cost.

AEP Ohio’s Energy Savings Programs

How Does It Work?

AEP’s Energy Savings Programs provide industry-specific resources and advice for reducing energy use. Similar to Duke they have both a Prescriptive Program, which offers incentives for updates to HVAC, lighting, motors and drives, refrigeration, and food service equipment, and a Custom Program, which provides incentives for pre-approved energy efficiency improvement projects not covered by the Prescriptive Program. The Custom Program provides an incentive of $0.08 per kWh saved for first-year savings, and a variety of incentive levels are offered through the Prescriptive Program.

What’s New?

Earlier this year AEP launched an Efficient Financing Pilot to help customers finance both Prescriptive and Custom projects over $10,000.

Do You Qualify?

AEP’s Energy Savings Programs are open to all business (non-residential) customers. Other criteria vary by industry, check with AEP for details.

Dayton Power & Light’s Rebates Programs

How Does It Work?

Dayton Power & Light also offers prescriptive incentives, through their Rapid Rebates program, and custom incentives for pre-approved projects, through their Custom Rebates program. The Rapid Rebates program offers rebates for new equipment purchases that replace existing equipment or are part of a retrofit project, including rebates for lighting, HVAC, motors and drives, and compressed air systems. For special equipment needs or other energy-savings programs DP&L’s Custom Rebates program offers incentives of $0.05 to $0.10 per first-year kWh saved and up to $100 per kW of demand reduced. DP&L also offers additional New Construction rebates.

What’s Different?

Unlike other programs, DP&L does not limit the number of rebate applications of any type that a single business may submit.

Do You Qualify?

The DP&L rebate programs are only open to DP&L business and government customers. All projects must result in a net decrease in energy consumption or demand. Additionally, Custom Rebate projects must have a maximum payback based on electricity cost savings of seven years and demonstrate permanency of savings over the payback period or a five-year period, whichever is longer.

Why Start Now?

  • Lower the cost difference between standard and energy efficient equipment.
  • Invest in high-efficiency equipment without exceeding annual budgets.
  • Contribute to a greener environment by reducing the amount of natural resources needed to keep your business running.
  • Help your community by deferring the need to construct additional electric-generating facilities, thereby keeping regional energy rates low and reducing emissions.

Looking for more? Visit your local utility’s website or see what’s available in your area at http://www.dsireusa.org/.

Authored By Maïca Pichler

As EnerNOC’s Marketing Communications Intern, Maïca brings together her interests in public policy, environmentalism, and communications.

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