Large Financial Services Company Finds Out for Themselves, “Does Encentivizer™ Portfolio Awareness Really Work?”

This project was for a large corporate financial services company that consisted of LED lighting and control system upgrades for over 1,000 branch and admin locations to make the buildings as energy efficient as possible.

An average scope of work was determined to use in the analysis. This scope was uploaded to Encentivizer Portfolio Awareness to analyze the potential rebates. Using an average scope helped to provide an idea of what the rebates might look like across various utilities, therefore allowing the customer to prioritize which locations to complete first. Portfolio Awareness results were a great influence on their capital plan, using rebates to help prioritize energy efficiency initiatives for this national account. There were some concerns that the rebate programs might close or the utilities might change their programs for 2018, but using Portfolio Awareness they can easily rerun the portfolio of building sites to see updated rebate program information. Using utility rebates based on energy savings to determine how to map out a project completion plan made it more cost effective.

Without Portfolio Awareness, finding the utility rebate program details for each of the 1,000+ building locations would have been done manually – as well as the rebate calculation for the scope of work. However, in Portfolio Awareness each location is populated as a bubble on a map (the size of the bubble is based on the amount of the rebate the larger the rebate, the bigger the bubble). You can also download a spreadsheet file of the locations with all the rebate details to sort and view the data in a different way.

“With so many different utility rebate programs, Encentivizer gives direction and takes the guess work out.”

Once the new equipment is installed at each location then the application for prescriptive rebates will begin. The energy savings needs to be quantified for upgrading from the old equipment to the new equipment, but large savings are forecasted. The amount of incentives this company will receive is very exciting!

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Industry Impacts From the DesignLights Consortium® NLC Analysis Study

The DesignLights Consortium® (DLC®) is a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the widespread adoption of high-performing commercial lighting solutions. The DLC promotes high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products in collaboration with utilities and energy efficiency program Members; manufacturers; lighting designers; and federal, state, and local entities. Through these partnerships, the DLC establishes product quality specifications, facilitates thought leadership, and provides information, education, tools, and technical expertise.

By 2035, more than a third of installed luminaires in commercial buildings are estimated to have network connectivity (DOE 2016).

What are Networked Lighting Controls? They are a combination of sensors, a network, a central processor, and a user interface. It’s an intelligent network that integrates communication between various system inputs and outputs related to lighting with the use of one central processor.

The DLC analysis is important because – even with the limited availability of the data they had to work with –  utilities are going to use this study to lay the groundwork for the design of networked lighting controls incentives. While some utilities have been experimenting with incentive design in this area, the study gives them a firmer foundation to build upon, and use as justification to their regulatory overseers. (Download the 63 page Analysis.)

The greatest impact on the controls industry, I believe, is going to come from the influence this study has on the program designers at the utilities, not only for design the financial side of the incentives, but the eligibility and compliance-side as well.

Financially, the study highlights the fact that energy savings is very site specific with NLCs averaging about 47% savings across all buildings, but extremely variable by building type and from building to building in the same use or type.  A school with many windows versus a school without many windows will react very differently to daylighting/dimming controls.  The degree of customization of the systems can vary greatly as well.  An incentive program designer needs to balance accuracy of energy savings versus the effort to achieve that accuracy.  The more customized the incentive calculation needs to be, the more data and analysis required to verify and pay the incentive.

Which incentive calculation scheme a program designer picks (kwh, sq ft, prescriptive, etc.) will result in an uneven benefit amongst building types.  A kwh-based program should provide the greatest incentive to those building types who are best suited to NLC designs, but could then narrow the participation in the program to those building types.  Square-footage based programs can

DLC Networked Lighting Controls Incentives Analysis

even the playing field amongst building types, but results in less lucrative incentives for those building types with greatest energy savings potential.

From a compliance/eligibility perspective, the DLC NLC QPL has already identified required attributes for equipment, but the utilities requirements will more than likely extend beyond equipment capabilities.  The biggest other area will be around data and reporting.  The study highlights the difficulty in accessing data for analysis, and given the level of building variability and system customization, data will more than likely become a compliance and eligibility requirement over and above QPL system features.

Regardless of these issues, the controls industry should be prepared for the following impacts:

  1. Incentive design will drive economics and ROI for NLC projects and should be taken into account for goto-market planning.
  2. Data availability. Challenges in access to data and lack of standardization of data is the underlying weakness of this study.  The utilities need access to data in order to better design the incentive schemes as well as to pay out the incentives.
  3. NLC data standards. NLC manufacturers should consider voluntarily collaborating on how their systems report usage and savings.  Otherwise utilities will do it for them, like they have before. We could definitely envision a scenario where a utility declares a NLC system non-rebateable due to lack of compliance with a data standard.

While some incentives currently exist for NLC systems, the study should increase the number of incentives available.  However, the view of the utility program planners is critical here since they will determine when this can go into effect. It may affect the program planning for 2018, but the timing of the release and variability in the results may delay implementation, but not for long!

The release of the study should result in the appearance of more incentive schemes for NLCs. As we, Encentiv Energy, continue to monitor all utility programs, we expect to be able to have this information available in Encentivizer™ as soon as utility programs release their updates for NLC incentives. We expect 2018 to be a big year for controls and the DLC® analysis confirms this.

 

Encentivizer will be your on-the-spot, on-time resource for networked lighting controls.

Learn more today and be prepared for the changes in the industry!

 

by Mike Cham, Chief Technology Officer

Encentiv Energy Accepts Office Lighting Challenge for Energy Efficiency Day 2017

This year, Encentiv Energy is participating in the second annual Energy Efficiency Day on October 5, 2017 by accepting the Office Lighting Challenge! The pledge is simple: Upgrade 10 light bulbs to LEDS at your office.

“The core mission of Encentiv Energy is to help customers make their buildings as energy efficient as possible while maximizing their return on investment. Even though we are only tenants in our office building, we wanted our home to have the latest lighting technology,” said Steve Moritz, President & CEO. “It was just the right thing to do and we wanted our visitors to know that we lived our own mission. Energy Efficiency Day 2017 provided us a great opportunity to bring the company together to get this project done and to let our industry know we all believe in the value of energy efficiency.”

When the decision was made to upgrade the lighting it was a natural next step to use Encentivizer™ – Encentiv Energy’s own cloud-based rebate intelligence platform – to get any applicable local utility rebates.

“When we were shopping for new bulbs, we knew it was the perfect opportunity to swap roles and use Encentivizer as the end user. We found bulbs that were DLC (DesignLights Consortium®) listed and calculated our utility rebate and PJM incentive all in Encentivizer. Once we figured out the total cost of the bulbs, we were also able to see our ROI and determine the true cost of the LED upgrade after accounting for all rebates, incentives, and utility bill savings,”  Jeremy Struhar, Product Manager.

You can use Encentivizer to get rebates for your own light bulb challenge! Try it for free today! Just type in a zip code, and click on the utility name.

Encentiv Energy is part of thousands of regional and national organizations, businesses, and utilities working to promote energy efficiency. It is the least expensive and quickest way to meet energy needs, reduce energy bills and decrease pollution. Smarter energy solutions means that less energy is produced to meet demand.

To learn more about Energy Efficiency Day, join the conversation on Twitter at #EEDay2017.

Encentiv Energy builds cloud-based technology and software for the energy efficiency industry to find and calculate accurate rebates faster than ever with just the click of a button. Their product suite, Encentivizer, is designed to help utility programs, end user customers, trade allies, vendors and manufacturers run their energy efficiency rebates from start to finish. Encentivizer is the leading comprehensive cloud-based software that allows you to access rebate data in real-time anywhere in North America.

Want to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

Mike Cham, CTO to Receive AEE Energy Innovator of the Year Award for Second Time

The Association of Energy Engineers, a nonprofit professional Association of over 18,000 members, is presenting over 80 regional awards to individuals and organizations around the world. It is important to recognize these individuals and companies for their dedication and performance in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industry. The following awards will be given at the 40th World Energy Engineering Congress in Atlanta, GA.

Mike Cham, Encentiv Energy’s Chief Technology Officer, won the award for 2017 Energy Innovator of the Year for the second time in two years. He won last year (2016) as well.

“It’s a huge honor to win this award for the second time. Our team dedicates a lot of energy to developing and improving Encentivizer and we reach for the extraordinary every day,” said Mike Cham, Chief Technology Officer. “Energy efficiency drives us to help people save money on energy efficiency projects and the environment – there are multiple uses for Encentivizer and the impact it has. We also constantly improve our platform – we rely a lot on customer feedback to make sure we’re designing and implementing changes they want and will impact their workflow in a positive way.”

Winners in Region I (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT):

Energy Innovator of the Year – Michael Cham, Encentiv Energy

About Mike Cham:
Mike Cham is the Chief Technology Offier at Encentiv Energy. He has tons of experience with software and technology development and is incredibly passionate about it. He has all of the technical skills required to create and manage the development of Encentivizer. He loves improving the UX of the platform which keeps him engaged and excited about his job.

About the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC)
The WEEC is the nation’s largest energy efficiency conference and technology expo designed for business, industrial and institutional energy users. The conference addresses industrial energy management, HVAC and smart building systems, renewables, alternative energy and onsite generation, lighting efficiency and integrated energy solutions.  In addition to the three-day conference program, WEEC features a comprehensive exposition as well as a full line-up of CEU and PDH qualifying seminars.

About AEE
The Association of Energy Engineers is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit professional organization with over 18,000 members that specializes in training, membership development, chapter development, and certification for professionals practicing in the fields of energy management, energy efficiency, energy service and commissioning, power and gas, sustainable and renewable energy, and building and electrical systems. The mission of AEE is to promote the scientific and educational interests of those engaged in the energy industry and to foster action for sustainable development.