No matter the size of your business, energy costs represent a significant portion of your overhead expenditures. Since power accounts for as much as 10% of your budget, finding ways to reduce that expense without impacting operations is a priority for most business owners.
Investing in sustainable energy solutions and other energy-efficient technologies can be an effective option, but only when the cost of that investment doesn’t exceed the potential energy bill reductions. In other words, the monthly energy savings must be enough to justify the price tag on the new equipment or retrofits.
Undoubtedly, renewable energy technologies like solar can save money long-term. Government and utility rebates and incentive programs allow companies to make these investments by reducing upfront costs. Using rebates strategically can maximize the return on your investment, so you benefit from better commercial energy efficiency sooner rather than later.
Start with an Energy Efficiency Audit to Guide Decision Making
Before investing in any new energy-efficient technologies or upgrades, conduct an audit to determine which projects offer the highest potential ROI. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends a four-pronged approach to energy audits to identify the most effective ways to achieve energy savings goals.
The ASHRAE energy audit framework includes the following:
- Benchmarking your property’s energy consumption against similar buildings
- Evaluating the current equipment’s operating data and energy consumption
- Conducting a detailed analysis of costs and potential savings of proposed energy efficiency measures
- Projecting the potential ROI of the proposed investments compared to other projects, taking into account the opportunity to access rebates, tax credits, and low or no-cost financing incentives
By following this framework, your company can identify the project that will provide the most financial advantages and make a measurable difference in reducing your property’s energy consumption and impact on the climate crisis.
The Purpose of Utility Rebates and What You Stand to Gain
Government entities and utility companies offer rebates on renewable energy technologies and other energy-efficient upgrades to encourage residential and commercial property owners to take steps toward reducing their dependence on electric and gas supplies. One of the biggest barriers to meeting ambitious energy-efficiency goals and standards is the expense of the technology. It’s simply cost-prohibitive for many companies to invest in the equipment that cuts their carbon output, so rebates aim to eliminate that barrier.
Investing now makes reaching future energy consumption targets and reducing your carbon footprint possible. Utility vendor surcharges on customers cover the costs of these programs. On average, rebates reduce the cost of energy-efficient technologies by 10% to 20% and slash the installation charges in half.
Suppose your company plans to embark on a project that supports reduced energy consumption and lower overhead costs. In that case, explore if you qualify for rebate programs to save money now and in the future. Identifying the specific rebates your company qualifies for and navigating the application process can be cumbersome, but the time and commitment pay off substantially in long-term cost reductions.
Efficiency Expenditures That Qualify for Rebates and Incentives
Not every utility provider or local jurisdiction offers rebate or incentive programs. However, given that expenditures for these programs exceeded $10 billion in 2020, there’s a good chance that a project on your priority list qualifies for some form of incentive. Rebates are available on new construction, retrofitting, and replacement projects and cover a long list of energy-efficient technologies, including:
- Solar energy panels and installation
- Energy management system installation and upgrades
- Heat pumps and installation
- Building envelope upgrades
- Lighting upgrades
- Boilers and installation
- HVAC equipment upgrades and installations
- Refrigeration and food equipment upgrades and installation
To ensure you get all the incentives, research local rebates and incentive opportunities in the early planning stage of any project. You can apply for a rebate after the fact, but some incentive programs, like special financing, require approval before the project starts. Other programs have strict application deadlines or may run out of funds before you apply if you wait too long.
Additional Read: Improving Energy Efficiency In Buildings
Let Navigate Power Help You Maximize Your Investment with Rebates
With so many money-saving programs to support a shift to better commercial energy efficiency, identifying those that offer the most strategic value can be a complex and time-consuming process. It’s easy for companies to leave money on the table when they don’t have all the information they need to make the most strategic decisions.
Navigate Power makes it easy for commercial property owners to invest in energy-efficient technologies with services designed to streamline energy procurement and maximize savings through auditing services, exchange bids, and consulting. Contact us today at (888) 6021-1789 for a free consultation and learn more about how to make energy efficiency more affordable.