THE END-OF-YEAR UTILITY REBATE PROGRAM TSUNAMI

In January 2017 our system recorded over 450 program changes that include new rebate amounts, new submission guidelines and new product qualification standards.  For example, several programs are changing how they treat linear replacement lamps with more and more of them either not rebating them or are rebating by UL Type (i.e. UL Types – A, A/B, B, C).  One utility in Colorado removed them from their prescriptive incentives and a major utility program in the midwest now has different incentives depending on the UL Type.

The question we get most often is “how does Encentiv keep the program data current?” The answer is that we have built multiple automated tools with sophisticated analytics to monitor and report on any program changes. One of the most valuable features of the Encentivizer™ Platform is the up-to-date utility rebate program data – accessible in real-time for our subscribers. Supporting these tools is a team of analysts who understand the complexities of rebate programs and how they operate. Everything runs pretty smoothly throughout the year until December and January, when hundreds of programs begin the transition to new rules, new rebates and fresh dollars.

Another very interesting trend is measuring rebate amounts based on the lighting efficacy – the efficiency of the lumen output compared to the wattage of the fixture. To calculate these rebate amounts the customer (or their contractor) will need to provide more data about the operating environment, hours of operation as well as more details on the new fixtures.  Encentiv has already modified the Encentivizer calculations to account for these inputs in the programs that are using this approach.

Encentiv is also seeing many programs start to differentiate between the DLC (Design Lights Consortium) Standard criteria versus the DLC Premium. In some programs, DLC Premium lighting products qualify for higher rebates than DLC Standard products, or ONLY DLC Standard OR DLC Premium will qualify for rebates.  See the DLC website for more information regarding the requirements for products to qualify for DLC Premium.

Other changes we are tracking include the shift towards putting more and more products on mid-stream programs (getting the rebate directly from a local distributor) and push for trade allies to use online applications versus editable PDF forms.  Look for more details on these trends in future newsletters.

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by Steve Moritz, President & CEO

#1 Reason the 2016 Election Won’t Have a Negative Impact on the Energy Efficiency Industry

“Energy efficiency will always be the lowest cost resource. The cheapest kWh is the one you don’t use.” -Stephen Moritz, President & CEO, Encentiv Energy

Over the last ten years, customer funded energy efficiency programs have grown from $1.4 billion to almost $8 billion and are available in almost all 50 states.  This growth and adoption have been consistent regardless of which political party was in charge.  While the new administration was elected based on promises to bring back coal and oil industry jobs, energy efficiency will always be the lowest cost resource (the cheapest kWh is the one you don’t use).  Third party evaluation of energy efficiency programs have consistently shown that the economic benefits to customers far outweigh the costs.  For example, Pennsylvania extended their energy efficiency program for an additional five years even though the political climate favors the Republicans and the natural gas industry plays a big role in the state economy.

The article recently published by Steven Nadel, the Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) highlights several opportunities for continued progress for energy efficiency under a Trump administration.  While some of the Obama-led initiatives may be abandoned, the bottom line economic benefits of energy efficiency remain sound.  Market oriented solutions such as LED lighting, “smart” technology and creative funding models will continue to make good business sense for customers and will be supported by state and federal government policies.

 

By Stephen Moritz, President & CEO

An Energy Efficiency All-Star Roundtable Discussion

It’s not often you get an opportunity to witness a meaningful peer-to-peer event in your industry – an unscripted, thoughtful, open and honest exchange about some of the most important and timely challenges facing the participants in all segments of the energy consumer world. At the EEI National Accounts Workshop in Minneapolis on October 25, I was lucky enough to be a fly on the wall – along with 200+ eei-roundtable-discussionother conference attendees – and hear from National Account energy managers, utility EE program managers, utility commissioners and consumer advocates. The agenda called it a discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing this group of National Account leaders like Cinemark, Staples, Best Buy, Target and McDonalds, and how the utilities, regulators, service providers and manufacturers are playing key roles with smart technologies, grid modernization, and efficiency and sustainability regulations. What actually happened was more than I think anyone expected.

The stage had been set earlier in the day by David Owes, Executive VP at EEI, when he outlined the EEI’s view of the industry’s customer-driven vision – to strike a balance between reliability, sustainability and affordability. He then asked everyone in the room – customers, utilities, service providers, manufacturers – what can each of us do to help achieve the vision.  The conversation started with sustainability, renewables and energy efficiency programs….and two hours later was still going strong.value-reliability-sustainability-innovation

From the national account customers’ perspective, “customer choice” has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s not the traditional market dynamic of 3rd party suppliers and strategic buying strategies, but today, choice means

  • making decisions on what renewable strategy best fits their corporate governance
  • where, when and how to best deploy capital, based on the most customer-friendly, active, consistent and valuable energy efficiency programs
  • what technologies to deploy based on system protocol, ease of integration and cost
  • where to locate new locations or acquisitions, based on utility costs and reliability/risk exposure

The utilities, regulators and consumer advocates heard the national accounts loud and clear, and appear to understand that they need to break from the traditional utility model. They need to be cutting edge in the world of advanced technology, data, analytics, customer service, security and reliability. But at the same time, they stressed the point that this call for customer value cannot be provided for the marquee national accounts at the cost of other customers and customer segments.

As a SaaS provider, it is encouraging to hear so much attention being paid to energy efficiency programs.  As we continue to develop a better and more robust platform that provides nationwide energy efficiency awareness, rebate estimate and application processing, integrated into the work-flow of the trade ally network, these types of open dialogues go a long way to justify our commitment to the industry and our customers.  For the industry, it was great to see such a strong sense of synergy and passion for the cause.

By Steve Shearson, CEM, Vice President Utility Programs

ENCENTIV ENERGY LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

Encentiv Energy is inviting utility companies, manufacturers, and trade allies to explore its new and completely redesigned website which offers greater insight into the company’s revolutionary technology solution for the energy efficiency rebate and financing industry

Encentiv Energy's New SitePittsburgh, PA, November 15, 2016– Encentiv Energy which develops technology to automate and optimize the energy efficiency rebate and financing process announced today the unveiling of a newly redesigned website, www.EncentivEnergy.com. Key features include a more engaging user experience and a more attractive and clean design with effortless navigation. As well as introducing all the key features of Encentivizer platform, the website has been developed with responsive design, adapting its display for optimal viewing on any device.

“We are really excited about the launch of our new website and the information it provides for potential customers, investors and partners to better understand Encentivizer’s best-in-class energy efficiency rebate and financing technology,” said Lee Levitt, Chief Revenue Officer.

The main goal of the new website is to provide visitors with an easier way to learn about Encentiv Energy and the customized solutions they offer their clients. Users will get a more comprehensive understanding of the company’s innovative technology solutions – they will see the entire suite of Encentivizer technology products and the value they bring to their business.

“We believe the new site allows visitors to have a very informative experience as we grow and increase our market presence. The website is a big part of our overall digital strategy and represents an important piece of our long-term growth plan,” Lee Levitt, Chief Revenue Officer said.

Encentiv Energy’s new website will be updated regularly with news on product launches, industry highlights, and much more. Visitors are encouraged to explore the website and sign up for direct emails from Encentiv Energy at https://goo.gl/7bq2hZ

Encentiv Energy Announces Investment from Investment Group Led By Birchmere Ventures

Pittsburgh, PA, September 28, 2016– Encentiv Energy, a Pittsburgh-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company in the rapidly growing $25 billion per year energy efficiency market raised $2.44m in an investment and venture debt round led by Birchmere Ventures.

Birchmere’s reputation for investing in high growth technology companies in their early stages that can have a positive impact on a large target market is a great reflection of their confidence in the Encentivizer™ Platform and the opportunity that the company has to dramatically impact the energy efficiency industry.  Birchmere lead a group of investors that included the BlueTree Venture Fund, Pittsburgh Equity Partners and Innovation Works. 

“Every day there are thousands of energy efficiency vendors and contractors who need help working with customers to try and understand the complex world of rebate and financing programs. With over 3,000 programs in the U.S. that include hundreds of thousands of options, the energy efficiency industry is simply overwhelmed.  Moreover, the rules are constantly changing and the application process can be onerous, causing customers to often miss out on opportunities to save 30-50% on the project. Subscribing to the Encentivizer Platform solves this big problem and helps close more deals.” Steve Moritz, President and CEO, said.

The investment capital will provide significant fuel for enhanced development of the Encentivizer Platform and to add new positions – mostly sales and marketing – to keep expanding their market across the U.S. and Canada.  The company is already seeing rapid adoption of the Encentivizer Platform and with the new investment expects that to accelerate even more over the next 12-18 months.

“With rebate and financing programs being a critical element in the adoption of new energy efficiency technology, we’re seeing customers embrace the subscription model for access to our Platform. This investment will allow us to focus on the growth of that side of our business,” Moritz said.

Birchmere Ventures, headquartered in Pittsburgh & San Francisco, invests in the best early stage startups across the country.

Encentiv Energy is transforming the way people make purchasing decisions for energy efficient products. By providing tools that seamlessly integrate into the workflow of energy efficiency providers, they make accessing rebates and financing a more straightforward and painless process.

***

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Ashley Garia at 412-723-1508 or email at agaria@encentivenergy.com.

PJM Says Yes to Energy Efficiency

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Energy Efficiency Qualifies as a Capacity Performance Offering

Last month Encentiv Energy joined fourteen coalitions representing more than 80 stakeholders in submitting briefing papers to PJM. These groups represented various interests in the generation and distribution of electricity (capacity, natural gas, hydropower, renewables, and independent power producers) and were petitioning PJM to revise their newly drafted proposal regarding Capacity Performance. PJM’s proposal came after FirstEnergy filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) requesting the removal of Demand Response as a resource within the Forward Capacity Market.

FirstEnergy’s filing argued that Demand Response was less reliable than generation from power plants and should not be treated or incentivized in the same way. PJM responded with their Capacity Performance proposal, planning to treat Demand Response and generation the same, but limit participation in Demand Response (and, by association, Energy Efficiency) to utilities and retailers, leaving out independent organizations like Encentiv Energy.

PJM held a meeting in early November, allowing stakeholder coalitions the opportunity to respond to the proposal. Members of the Energy Efficiency coalition included Encentiv Energy, EMC Development, EnergyConnect, greeNEWit, Juice Technologies, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Our appeal focused on allowing full participation in available programs and keeping Energy Efficiency separate from Demand Response.

The reason behind preserving this distinction is that while Demand Response capacity is dependent upon end-user compliance (someone has to turn off the lights when asked), Energy Efficiency is a permanent reduction that can be counted on during peak demand periods with no additional action by the end user.

Last week, PJM released the revised Capacity Performance proposal, which included language stating Energy Efficiency resources that represent year-round reduction can qualify as a Capacity Performance offering. The revised proposal is still subject to approval by FERC, but at this stage, the Energy Efficiency Coalition was successful in keeping Energy Efficiency alive as an incentive option for our customers.

Utility Rebate Customers: Claim your PJM Capacity Credits!

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Beyond each of our local electric utilities, large regional cooperatives manage the generation and transmission of electricity in North America. These cooperatives are independent of individual power plant owners or utilities and are responsible for the safety and reliability of our electric grid.

The largest cooperative is called the PJM Interconnect, LLC and covers all or parts of thirteen states—from Chicago to Virginia, including the District of Columbia. It also includes all of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland.

PJM offers incentives to customers who install energy efficient equipment that permanently reduces the use of electricity during peak times.

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To find out if you qualify for PJM energy efficiency incentives, tell us about your project.

PJM Incentives: The Facts

For those of you that may not know about PJM incentives or have questions, here’s a quick study.

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What is PJM?

Beyond each of our local electric utilities, large regional cooperatives manage the generation and transmission of electricity in North America. These cooperatives are independent of individual power plant owners or utilities and are responsible for the safety and reliability of our electric grid. The largest cooperative is called the PJM Interconnect, LLC and covers all or parts of thirteen states—from Chicago to Virginia, including the District of Columbia. It also includes all of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland.

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(http://www.pjm.com/about-pjm/learning-center/markets-and-operations/rpm-capacity-market.aspx)

How does it work?

PJM offers incentives to customers who install energy-efficient equipment that permanently reduces the use of electricity during peak times. Documentation of the type of new energy-efficient equipment installed, when it was installed, and how it is being used is required. PJM also requires a measurement of electricity usage during the peak summer periods to verify whether or not a building is actually using less energy. Also, as a cooperative, PJM relies on its members to combine projects together to make sure the volume is significant enough to impact their system.

How much money can I make?

The short answer is “it depends.” PJM pays more for projects that are in highly congested regions like Philadelphia and New Jersey. PJM also pays more when other generation options are less reliable or the transmission infrastructures are weak. Typically, you can expect a PJM incentive equal to 30–60% of a local rebate. There is an especially large opportunity to earn money by submitting documentation for past projects.

Can you give me an example?

For example, a $100,000 lighting retrofit project in a PJM service area would pay as much as $14,000 if the project were in Pittsburgh, $23,000 in Cleveland, and $26,000 in Philadelphia. A portion of the earnings goes to pay the PJM member for the administrative costs associated with the project.

Are there risks?

The good news is that no matter where the project is located, it will qualify for up to four years of payments after the installation. Also, after the project is approved, there is absolutely NO RISK to the customer as long as they continue to operate the new energy-efficient equipment. The money will be paid monthly or quarterly depending on the size of the project.

Encentiv Energy can help you sort through the complexities of the PJM Energy Efficiency Program and help you figure out how much your projects are worth. We also work with PJM members to make sure you are getting the most money possible.

Can I combine projects?

Yes. If your individual projects do not meet the minimum kilowatts (kW), you can combine multiple smaller projects completed in the same calendar year to achieve kW requirements as long as they reside in the same PJM zone.

What’s eligible?

  • Interior lighting retrofits
  • New construction interior lighting
  • And more

Why should I partner with Encentiv Energy?

No Risk: If you have completed an energy-efficiency project in the past three years, you may qualify for an incentive. Encentiv Energy does not charge to review projects for consideration.

Referral Bonuses: Any qualified contractor, supplier, or designer of energy-efficiency projects also has the opportunity to receive a cash bonus for each successfully qualified project that is referred to Encentiv Energy.

No Limitations: The larger the project, the more potential for revenue.

Recurring Revenue: The benefit of submitting a project to PJM is that you may receive recurring revenue for up to four years after project completion.

Eligibility Dates: Projects completed between the following dates are eligible for payment years listed:

June 1, 2012–May 31, 2013: 1 year
June 1, 2013–May 31, 2014: 2 years
June 1, 2014–May 31, 2015: 3 years
June 1, 2015–May 31, 2016: 4 years

If you’d like to read more about the program, go here.

If you’d like to find out how we can help you take advantage of PJM (with or without applying for local rebates), send us an e-mail to info@encentivenergy.com or call us at 855.896.0568.

FirstEnergy Street Lighting, Outdoor Lighting, and Traffic Signal Incentives

Governmental & Institutional customers of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities (Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power) are eligible for specific lighting incentives that include:

  • Street Lighting
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • LED Traffic Signals

To qualify for incentives, participants must have installed qualified, operable equipment on or after June 1, 2013.

To find out if you qualify, tell us about your project.

Eligible LED Traffic Signals
8″ Red or Green $25/fixture
12″ Red $46/fixture
12″ Green $58/fixture
8″ Yellow $20/fixture
12″ Yellow $40/fixture
8″ Turn Signal $25/fixture
12″ Turn Signal $25/fixture
Pedestrian Signals $25/fixture

NOTE: traffic signals may also qualify for PJM incentives (even if the project is already completed)

Beyond Utility Rebates: PJM’s EER Program Webinar

Lighting Solution Development is teaming up with Encentiv Energy to host a free webinar about one of the largest untapped C&I lighting rebate opportunities in the United States.

DATE: October 10, 2014 | TIME: 12pm EDT / 9am PT | DURATION: 45 minutes

Many are familiar with PJM Interconnect—the largest manager of electrical grid operations in the Mid-Atlantic United States. PJM is a regional cooperative that manages the generation and transmission of electricity in parts of 13 states: PA, DE, NJ, MD, VA, DC, OH, and WV.

What many do not know is that PJM has launched a new commercial energy-efficiency incentive program called the Energy Efficiency Resource or EER Program. This program provides lucrative commercial lighting retrofit incentives, in addition to the rebates already offered by individual utilities within the PJM territory.

The webinar will include a 30-minute presentation and 15-minute Q&A. In this free webinar, you will learn:
How to use the PJM EER program to grow your businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region
How the program works
How much is available in incentives, with examples
What types of lighting projects are eligible
How to partner with Encentiv Energy to leverage the PJM EER incentives

Please register for Beyond Utility Rebates: PJM’s EER Program on Oct 10, 2014 12:00 PM EDT at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2155552225331378946

Join Encentiv Energy and Lighting Solution Development to learn about PJM rebate opportunities. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Featured Speakers

David Shiller—President of Lighting Solution Development

David Shiller has over 12 years of leadership experience in the energy-efficient lighting industry:

  • Managed all ENERGY STAR lighting programs for the US EPA, 2002–2006
  • Invented and gained industry adoption of GU24 integral lamps
  • Awarded the ALA Pillar of the Industry Award in 2013
  • Co-chair of the American Lighting Association Engineering Committee, 2010–Present.
  • Publisher of Market Intelligence for Lighting Developers, a monthly trade e-newsletter sent to 1,800+ OEM lighting executives
  • Provides consulting, recruiting, and private-label sales to advanced lighting manufacturers

Lee Levitt—Vice President, Facility Solutions at Encentiv Energy

Lee has been with Encentiv Energy since the company’s inception. With more than 20 years of experience in the facility industry combined with his national sales background in the energy market, Lee’s career has allowed him to work on exciting projects with high-profile clients, including the Atlanta Olympic Stadium. He has managed confidential, multimillion-dollar, time-sensitive construction projects across North America, including maximum security prisons, government facilities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, athletic venues, and more. As Vice President of Facility Solutions, Lee ensures that national, regional, and local channel customers, contractors, and service providers work together to successfully capture financial incentives for all energy-efficiency programs. He supports customers in achieving their benchmarking goals, helps them to identify financing solutions, and encourages them to participate in revenue-generating incentive programs. Lee holds a Master’s degree from Duquesne University School of Leadership & Liberal Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Administration from the University of Cincinnati. Passionate about family, Lee is actively involved in leadership roles, sports activities surrounding his children, and also serves on numerous volunteer committees within the community.