More Utilities Are Offering Incentives for Plug and Process Load Solutions

By Rois Langner (NREL), Sormeh Konjkav (Waypoint Building Group) and Marta Schantz (Waypoint Building Group) on Apr 25, 2017

Over the past three years, the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance Plug and Process Loads (PPL) Technical Solutions Team has tracked utility incentives and rebates for PPL efficiency solutions across the nation. To hit regulatory targets and promote energy efficiency, utilities offer rebates and incentives that are funded privately or by State or Federal programs to reduce energy. Incentivized PPL strategies typically focus on advanced power strips (APS), computer power management, occupancy sensors for PPLs, vending machine controllers, and ENERGY STAR certified plug load equipment. These incentives help cover costs for higher-efficiency equipment and increase adoption rates of energy saving technologies amongst commercial building owners and occupants. To find PPL-related rebates or incentives in your area, click here.

The number of PPL-related utility incentives has grown tremendously over the past three years. This drive is due to the fact that other building systems and equipment are becoming more and more efficient, and because PPLs are accounting for an increasingly large percentage of commercial building energy. In fact, PPLs account for 33% of U.S. commercial building energy, and there is a large, untapped opportunity for PPL energy savings. Utilities have taken note, and rebates for PPL efficiency solutions have nearly doubled from last year, including 33 utilities that are offering PPL-related incentives for the first time.

The most common incentives and rebates are currently provided for vending machine controls and occupancy sensors; however, many rebates exist for computer power management, advanced power strips, and ENERGY STAR equipment. From the utility’s perspective, energy savings for these devices can reduce demand on the grid, and help utilities reach their regulatory targets. For building owners and managers, PPL energy savings can reduce operating expenses and prolong the life of plug-in equipment.

Across the nation, we expect to see increased adoption of PPL related incentives as more commercial building stakeholders become aware of local rebate programs, and as more utilities see energy savings from these programs. Visit the Better Buildings Solution Center for additional resources and strategies to manage plug and process loads.