The Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Financing program (PennSEF)
Best for: municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, and other large non-profit organizations
GBA is working with PennSEF as its Western Pennsylvania liaison to help people and projects reduce energy and water use, lower operating costs, replace aging high-maintenance equipment, and improve safety and resiliency. PennSEF provides technical and legal assistance, as well as low-cost capital, for energy and water improvement projects by schools and other non-profits. All program costs are rolled into the issue of the bond. Your organization is guaranteed to see savings that meet or exceed loan payments. Savings will be monitored and verified regularly to ensure your upgrade is providing the promised payback, and GBA will help walk you through the process. To learn more, download the PennSEF guide below or contact GBA at (412) 773-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.orgDownload Guide
Best for: large commercial and industrial customers.
Our energy grid is highly reliable, however there are times when it experiences significant stress, like that hot day when everyone is blasting the AC. The significant peak in usage generally has one of two undesirable results. Power companies could be forced to fire up older, less efficient generation plants, which is expensive. If they cannot/will not manage this in time, your building could experience a brown out. Customers and companies can prevent these costs by trading; if customers reduce their electric usage, power companies can avoid an enormous hit to their bottom line. In order to incentivize this bargain, power companies have created the Demand Response (DR) Program, in which they PAY YOU to reduce your consumption. Read More
Duquesne Light WATT CHOICES
Best for: all building types and sizes.
WATT CHOICES helps customers conserve energy and reduce demand while lowering their electricity costs. It provides rebates and discounts on a wide range of energy-saving devices for commercial (and residential!) customers.
- Rebate Catalog – standard rebates for common upgrades
- Commercial Efficiency – includes custom rebates and new construction
- Public Agency Partnership Program – recommendations and incentives for government, municipalities, schools, and non-profits.
- Small Commercial Direct Install – free lighting and refrigeration solutions
- Screw-in LED lights – instant rebates when purchased through a participating distributor
- Demand Response – get paid to reduce usage at times of peak load (learn more)
- Multifamily Housing Retrofit Program – financial and technical resources for housing with income qualified occupants
- Industrial Efficiency – for large manufacturing companies
Forward Capacity Payments
Best for: commercial or industrial buildings, large multifamily residential.
You already know that energy efficiency upgrades save you money by lowering your utility bills. But did you know that you can also receive payment from our regional grid? If you’ve done (or are planning) a lighting, HVAC, or VFD project, received a rebate from Duquesne Light, or demonstrated energy use reduction for a LEED certified building, you might be able to increase your savings.
PJM Interconnection, our regional electrical grid, offers payment for permanent load reduction. If this seems like a strange proposition, consider that PJM forecasts and prepares for peak demand not this year, but four years in the future. They ensure electricity will be on-hand to meet those peak loads, and balancing that supply and demand is precise work. When PJM knows that your building will be operating more efficiently (aka, demanding less electricity), they can build that information into their models. So permanently avoided energy consumption becomes a commodity with real value, called forward capacity (Demand response programs are somewhat similar and applicable to temporarily avoided energy-use).
Accessing these funds can be tricky, but they are a real source of cash for commercial property owners and managers. Capacity payments are available for projects completed in the last four years, so a project you’ve already finished could generate funds to complete your next endeavor.
More good news? Green Building Alliance and CPower can help. Let us know if you’ve completed a project in the last four years, or when you’re ready for your next project, and we’ll walk you through the process. To see if your project is a good fit, contact us. And if you want to dive deeper into forward capacity market, learn more here and here.
(Disclosure: CPower collects a percentage of the payment as their fee for service as a licensed curtailment service provider. As a referral partner, GBA receives a small portion of that fee).