With the cost of fuel stabilizing at near historic lows, the financial motivation to improve operating efficiency in fuel burning appliances diminishes. Payback periods for efficiency upgrades to boilers and burners extend well beyond the typical time expectations of most businesses.
But financial payback should not be the only motivator for operational improvements, one should consider equipment age, reliability, and the environmental impact. Simply stated, a 5% reduction in fuel consumption will yield a similar reduction in Green House emissions and other Criteria Air Pollutants.
Rebates Differ by State
Unfortunately for most, money talks, and although the energy savings alone may not justify a project, many states have mandated utilities provide further motivation with business incentives and rebates to make energy saving improvements.
The incentives vary by State and Utility. As an example, in Wisconsin you work a third party, Focus on Energy for your rebates. In Minnesota and Michigan, you work with your local utility to obtain incentives. Not all States however have legislated these mandates, and there is currently no help in states like North or South Dakota.
Incentives, or Rebates are set up differently with each organization, but the goal is to help you justify the finances of improving efficiency.
Unburned Fuel is Money in the Bank
If your business reduces fuel consumption, your operating costs are lowered, demand on utility infrastructure is alleviated, emissions are reduced, and we all win. There are many modifications to your equipment that have proven to be energy savers time and time again. Rebates and incentives for such improvements are referred to as Prescriptive, meaning there is a set dollar amount paid based on the cost and/or size of the equipment.
Sometimes the improvements are more complex requiring some engineering work to quantify the savings. In these cases, the rebates are Custom, and there is assistance to help with the calculations. In either case, there are monetary incentives provided to your business to improve operational efficiencies.
Show me the Savings
- A Wisconsin wood processor through improvements in electrical controls and heat recovery estimated annual savings of $60,000 on a capital improvement yielding a 2.4-year payback. Focus on Energy provided additional incentives of $30,000 to help the business fund the project and drop the payback period to less than two years.
- A St. Paul, MN company replaced their entire boiler system with modern technology which came with an estimated annual fuel savings of approximately $14,000. The local utility provided an additional $28,000 to help push the project through.
In both examples, a reduction in energy consumption, reduced demand on utility distribution, and a net reduction in environmental impact.
Taking time to investigate potential incentives on capital improvements, regardless of expected fuel savings is worth your time. PBBS Equipment can evaluate your current equipment and recommend the best path to sustainable energy savings and support you through the rebate process.