Con Edison Raises Incentives to Help Customers Save (And Earn) Money
On the hottest days of the year, the increased use of air conditioners, combined with the use of office lights and other electronic devices, can be enough to strain the energy grid. This can also result in higher energy bills.
To help curb energy use throughout hot weather months, Con Edison offers building owners incentives for installing energy-demand-reducing solutions, including energy-efficient equipment such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, lighting controls and energy management systems.
“Our Demand Management Program has been around since 2014, and since that time, we have awarded tens of millions of dollars to incentivize hundreds of energy projects at customer locations,” Con Edison Demand Management Program Manager Sim Zirkiyev said. “The purpose of the program is to encourage customers to reduce the electric use on days when the load on the grid is highest, which tends to be on the hottest weekdays."
Con Edison incentives make these types of projects financially attractive by offsetting the upfront cost of certain measures by up to 70%.
"In the long run, this benefits the power grid and the environment," Zirkiyev said. "The incentive payout is based on the number of kilowatts saved by a project."
Commercial real estate buildings account for 35% of total energy consumption in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy. Of total energy consumption, 15% is dedicated to HVAC systems. During periods of extremely high temperatures, U.S. peak demand could jump by as much as 7.2%. Demand management programs like Con Edison’s DMP help lighten the load on the energy grid while helping customers reduce building operating costs.
One of Con Edison’s primary initiatives is to promote advanced lighting controls.
“There’s a great demand reduction potential with lighting controls," Zirkiyev said. "That’s why we are providing higher incentives this year for these measures."
Office buildings can implement daylight harvesting, where lights automatically dim in the presence of natural light. Owners can also install controls that allow building managers to temporarily turn off lights in nonessential locations remotely, allowing facilities to participate in demand response programs and receive payments from Con Edison for temporarily reducing energy use.
Con Edison’s DMP also incentivizes HVAC upgrades and building management systems. A building management system helps optimize the operation of the HVAC system, improve comfort levels and save energy. For customers considering lighting and HVAC controls projects, incentives increase 35% if they are completed by their respective 2018 program deadlines.
Con Edison encourages commercial and industrial property owners to apply for and take advantage of these increased incentives sooner than later, while funding is available.
“To deepen their energy savings and maximize their incentives, building owners can opt for more than one measure in a building,” Zirkiyev said. “Many owners take a comprehensive approach, installing more than one type of technology.”
For 2019, Con Edison has allocated $32M toward incentives, double the amount available in 2017. To encourage more projects that are slated for completion in 2019 to apply, Con Edison removed its requirement that any 2019 project offer a cash collateral. Con Edison also will not hold any more auctions and will accept applications on a first-come, first-served basis, without an application deadline.
Con Edison’s Demand Management Program helps its customers save energy and money. In turn, customer participation helps reduce the burden on the energy grid.
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