Saving Schools Incentive Dollars Doesn’t Take a Summer Break

Following the ritual of spring graduations, school districts and universities across the country find themselves scrambling against the clock to complete summer construction projects.  Summer is the ideal time for these facilities to upgrade energy efficient measures like lighting, HVAC, and begin new construction work while faculty, student, and staff are on break.  School budgets have been approved and now it’s a race to complete project work before everyone returns.  If planning is done in advance, schools can leverage electric utility incentives and will have completed pre-approval application processes before work begins.

However, if you find yourself having overlooked the utility incentive opportunities pick up the phone and contact your local utility representative immediately, because it may not be too late.  Many times, utility companies find themselves looking for eligible energy efficiency projects within the Government, Institutional, and not-for-profit sectors (GIN).  You may be able to work with your local utility program administrator (even if you missed a pre-approval timeline) to leverage incentive dollars that your school qualifies for.  Don’t allow yourself to be diverted that the incentive program participation is too much work or a distraction from focusing on a project’s completion demands because the advantages of participating are meaningful –

(1) Incentive dollars can be sizable and help drive down a projects ROI

(2) The construction team will look like hero’s by leveraging these FREE incentive dollars back to the institution

(3) Every utility meter customer is funding these incentive programs, so if you don’t retrieve and participate in the program when opportunity presents itself, then your neighboring institution will

If you are a contractor or GIN and unfamiliar with the electric utility incentive programs, find the complexity of program changes and applications daunting, or need resource support to participate in these programs then contact Encentiv Energy today.  You can also visit www.Awareness.Encentivizer.com to learn more about incentive programs throughout North America.  We have helped thousands of customers leverage available incentive dollars seamlessly.

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by Lee Levitt, Chief Revenue Officer

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 DELIVERS NEW EXPERIENCES FOR ENCENTIVIZER PLATFORM

New Awareness UI, Enhanced Financing Options for Portfolio Awareness & All-New Lighting Controls Rebate Information

ss_awarenesshomePittsburgh, PA, November 16, 2016– Encentiv Energy announced today that they have made significant updates to their Encentivizer platform. Users will experience an improved interface for www.awareness.encentivizer.com, have access to financing solutions – such as PACE and On-Bill – and their geo-map locations through the Encentivizer user experience.
A redesigned interface streamlines the Awareness experience. Users can expect to increase productivity by having immediate access to rebate information, such as: when programs open or close, program status, pre-approval requirements and much more.ss_portawareness_01

The new lighting controls rebate information turns Encentivizer XL into a powerful tool that can estimate available rebates for lighting controls on a product level. Users can review rebate data and make informed project decisions, easily translating the information into proposals and get answers to project scope changes within minutes.

Availability
The new user interface for Awareness and financing enhancement are being rolled out in 2016 Q4. For more information visit: https://www.encentivenergy.com/platform/encentivizer/

Encentiv Energy, is a SaaS company in the energy rebate and financing market. The Encentivizer technology, developed by Encentiv Energy, is the only comprehensive cloud-based software that allows you to access rebate data in real-time for of all North America. Connect your projects with the most complete, up-to-date set of rebate programs, project financing options and qualified products right now.

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.

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

Energy Innovator of the Year Award Goes to Encentiv Energy’s Chief Technology Officer

AEE Recognizes Individuals and Organizations for Contributions to the Energy Industry – The Encentivizer™ Platform is an innovative energy technology

Washington, DC, September 9, 2016 – Michael Cham, Encentiv Energy’s Chief Technology Officer was awarded the Energy Innovator of the Year for the Encentivizer™ Platform from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). This award is presented to an individual for outstanding achievement and innovation in promoting the adoption of renewable, green, or other innovative energy technologies.

“I was honored and thrilled to be recognized by the AEE. I am very impressed this organization saw the value the Encentivizer Platform brings to the energy efficiency industry. Our innovative technology is having a tremendous positive impact on this market and I’m really excited about the future.” Michael Cham, Chief Technology Officer.

WEEC 2017, presented by the Association of Energy Engineers, is designed specifically to facilitate those seeking to expand their knowledge of fast-moving developments in the energy field, explore promising new technologies, compare energy supply options, and learn about innovative and cost-conscious project implementation strategies.

About the AEE

The Association of Energy Engineers, a nonprofit professional Association of over 18,000 members, is presenting over 60 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.

Encentiv Energy, is a technology company in the energy rebate and financing market. The Encentivizer technology, developed by Encentiv Energy, is the only comprehensive source that includes details on every rebate program and tools to access those programs. 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.

ENCENTIVIZER AWARENESS™ NOW WITH ENHANCED FEATURES

banner_03New Features Make Managing National Accounts or Multi-Site Facilities Across Multiple Utility Territories a No Brainer

Pittsburgh, PA, June 29, 2016– Encentiv Energy today introduced new Awareness enhancements for the Encentivizer Platform. Awareness helps building owners manage multiple facilities within their portfolio across multiple utility territories to leverage rebate and incentive program intelligence.

“This is an exciting new feature for our customers. The Awareness enhancements allow Encentivizer users to gain insightful rebate and financing data across multiple utility territories and they will be able to see which facilities will get them the most rebates. Awareness also offers a visual map, and portfolio and product reports. This helps with decision making and improves their cash flow for projects. All of this is at their fingertips – it just takes the click of a button.” Mike Cham, Chief Technology Officer, said.

The Awareness Tool streamlines efficiency – the user enters facility information and scope of work and with one click the tool scans Encentiv Energy’s utility programs database of over 145,000 rebates and incentives and generates Awareness results in seconds. Plus, the user will receive regional incentive intelligence on the map or reports as well as optional financing solutions. The Encentivizer experience can also be personalized for each company.

Encentiv Energy, is a technology company in the energy rebate and financing market. The Encentivizer technology, developed by Encentiv Energy, is the only comprehensive source that includes details on every rebate program and tools to access those programs. 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.

Schedule a demo or contact for more information.

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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.