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Tips For Getting Incentives From Utilities

There are many ways that facility managers can work with utilities to improve energy efficiency. Karen Rhodes, Xcel Energy energy efficiency marketing manager offers these tips for working with utilities:

• Don’t wait to start your efficiency work. Find out what resources are available in your area in terms of rebates, and other incentives and don’t forget about your utility as a potential partner.

• Starting small is OK. Many businesses start by upgrading their lighting and installing occupancy sensors. Those measures alone are a great start to saving energy and money.

• Don’t forget about building tune-ups and making sure existing equipment is working as efficiently as possible. Optimizing the operational settings on equipment is an inexpensive way to save energy. Operating efficiently also reduces maintenance needs, further saving you money.

• Ask the experts. Getting an on-site audit and having an energy expert review your building with you is a great way to determine which projects to tackle first.

Rhodes advises the facility manager to think of the utility as a strategic partner. “We can bring additional ideas, technical resources, and financial incentives in the form of rebates to optimize projects and better meet the customers’ needs,” says Rhodes.

In addition, to maximize their ability to get utility incentives, companies would benefit from designating “an internal champion responsible for utility incentives,” says Peter Locke, a co-founder and managing director of TerraLocke Sustainability Consultants.

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