Over 240 Utilities Now Offer Rooftop Unit Incentives

By Sormeh Konjkav, Waypoint Energy; Marta Schantz, Waypoint Energy; Michael Deru, NREL on May 02, 2018

When we talk about market transformation, we aim to see high-efficiency technologies becoming part of the mainstream. In updating the Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Campaign’s utility incentive database, we were very excited to see how many RTU-related utility incentives exist compared to four years ago. Is demand for high-efficiency RTU projects following supply (availability of incentives), or is it the other way around? More than likely it's both. Market Transformation is happening! The updates to the Campaign’s RTU incentives database are quite impressive:

  • 244 utilities now offer incentives for RTU replacements/retrofits (up from 83 in 2014!)
  • 572 new incentives added
  • 72 incentive amounts updated
  • 56 incentives expired

The utility world now offers a wide range of RTU-related incentives, covering the more common replacements and controls retrofits including variable frequency drives (VFDs), while also expanding to intelligent control offerings such as economizers and demand-controlled ventilation (DCV), as well as tune-up incentives. The Campaign captured RTU technology-specific incentives from across the country in its incentives database, including:

  • 210 HVAC replacement incentives -  most of them $50/ton
  • 31 Advanced Rooftop Controls (ARC) incentives - ranging from $70-$225/ton, with most $225/ton
  • 219 VFD incentives - most of them $60-$400/unit or $50/HP (horsepower)
  • 49 Economizer incentives - ranging from $10-$40/ton and $75-$250/unit, with most $15/ton or $250/unit
  • 73 DCV incentives - most of them $200/unit
  • 51 HVAC Tune-Up incentives - most of them $35/unit

To find out what RTU-specific utility incentives are available in your utility territory, take a look at the updated RTU incentives database spreadsheet on the Advanced RTU Campaign’s website here. The database can be filtered by state, utility, and project type and you can find out more about specifications and eligibility by clicking on the link associated with each incentive. As always, the replacement incentives offer different rebate levels depending on the efficiency of the RTU (IEER or SEER ratings), so you’ll need to check those details through the links in the incentive spreadsheet specific to your local utility.

These offerings follow the market trends we've been seeing in the RTU market over the past couple of years. Due to this market transformation, this year the Campaign has shifted focus from encouraging high-efficiency replacements and retrofits, towards automated fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD) and intelligent controls. This follows the Better Buildings Alliance's mission to promote proven but underutilized technologies and practices. AFDD is a technology that continuously monitors the performance of building systems and identifies and clearly communicates faults. We’re excited to continue on the market transformation RTU highway with AFDD technologies.

Click here for more information on AFDD and click here to download the full database of utility RTU incentives.