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A Look At New Energy Incentives




March 15, 2011 - Energy Efficiency

Today's tip is about relatively new types of rebate and incentive programs facility managers can take advantage of. According to Lindsay Audin, president of EnergyWhiz, four types of efficiency and incentive programs offer money for various efficiency or renewable strategies.

The first is natural gas efficiency and fuel switching. Because the price of natural gas has come down relative to oil, incentives have popped up to raise gas-use efficiency, replace electric equipment with gas systems and switch from oil to natural gas, which emits about 30 percent fewer carbon emissions for the same heat output.

Secondly, feed-in tariffs for on site renewable energy generation are gaining support. Common in Europe, a feed-in tariff is a fee paid by the utility to the end user for every kWh fed back into the grid. As opposed to a one-time rebate or grant, this gives facility managers a constant stream of revenue from their investment in renewable energy.

A third is demand response. Facility managers are probably well-familiar with these agreements with utilities to reduce load when called upon to do so. Now available in more than 20 states, demand response programs are becoming more prevalent with the advent of smart meters and real-time pricing.

Finally, tax incentives spelled out in the federal stimulus and recently extended by the tax bill can continue to help facility managers with energy efficiency investments. Tax deductions in the Energy Policy Act of 2007 of up to $1.80 are still in play, as well. And President Obama has promised to continue work on a national energy policy with further incentives for efficiency.

For a more comprehensive look at tax incentives and other monetary assistance, visit www.energytaxincentives.org.

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