PG&E’s Third-Party Energy Incentive Programs
Please describe PG&E’s Third-Party Energy Incentive Programs.
PG&E runs energy incentive programs through two channels. We have our core channel representing the majority of our energy incentive offerings, and we offer energy incentives through third-party channels. Our Third-Party programs account for approximately twenty percent (20%) of the energy incentive dollars. PG&E has contracted with thirty-four (34) third-party companies, or implementers, to run fifty (50) contracts. We are part of a team of 12 program managers managing these contracts and the implementers that run them.
Several of our contracts focus on compressed air. We have programs that focus on industrial customers, and we have a program that focuses on agricultural and food customers. The incentive programs take the whole compressed air system into account. We see projects ranging from air compressor retrofits, air storage and distribution, dryers, and demand side projects including nozzles to reduce open blows. The implementers work with the customers to identify areas where cost effective energy efficiency can be achieved.
Why does PG&E have third-party incentive channels?
With the Third-Party Programs we get a more focused, innovative approach. We hire experts with specialized skills uniquely qualified to meet the needs of the customers we serve. The objective is to identify innovative design in the energy incentive programs we manage and access hard-to-reach market segments not being well-served by our core incentive programs. The Third-Party Programs expand PG&E’s reach and customer’s awareness of our incentive programs. In order to go to the next level of energy efficiency certain market segments (especially industrial customers) require a truly customized and tailored energy incentive program.
Our contracts with third-parties pay experts to provide technical expertise and deliver completed projects that save energy. The implementers typically work on a “pay for performance” basis which means we pay them a contracted performance rate for actual energy saved only when projects are completed and verified.
What are the energy incentives are offered?
With all of these programs, PG&E pays for 100% of the audit cost. On projects, we pay an incentive of 9 cents per kWh and a $100.00 kicker for peak kW reduction. We do not have a maximum dollar limit for a project but we do cap the incentives at 50% of the total project costs. There are maximum dollar amounts for energy incentives, per client, based upon total energy purchased.
Please describe the third-party-managed programs for industrial compressed air systems.
We have two Third Party programs specifically created for industrial customers with compressed air systems. The first program, called AIM (Assessment, Implementation, and Monitoring), is for systems with more than 700 horsepower of installed air compressors. The second program, called Ecos Air, is for systems with less than 700 hp of installed air compressors
The AIM Program is operated by Air Power of Ohio. The Industrial Compressed Air Program is operated by Ecos Air. More on the food processing can be found below. These two specific air compressor programs were originally contracted in the 2006-2008 program cycle and continue on today.
What kind of results have you experienced?
Both the AIM and Ecos programs have been successful at delivering energy savings. Between 2006 and the end of 2009 the AIM Program delivered 18.5 GWh and 2.3 MW in savings. During the same time the Ecos Air Program saved 25.7 GWh and 3.3 MW. We feel that both programs are excellent complements to our other incentive programs and that we are reaching customers we would not otherwise reach.
Please describe the process.
Awareness for the program comes from several methods. The PG&E Account Representatives have existing relationships with our customers and introduce the programs where there is a benefit. The implementers do their own program marketing, and they leverage existing relationships and corporate contacts. They also make all the local air compressor distributors aware of the programs. These distributors, in turn, inform their industrial clients of the benefits to making energy efficient upgrades to their compressed air systems.
We rely on the implementers (Air Power and Ecos Air) to operate the programs on our behalf. They develop the program materials and they take leads from our PG&E Account Representatives. We rely on them to work with the customer and to facilitate the project from audit to verification.
The AIM Program Process
Please describe the industry-specific food processing incentive program.
We have recently launched an incentive program, managed by Global Energy Partners, called the Comprehensive Food Processing Energy Efficiency Program that targets all food processors, excluding wineries and dairies. We have designed energy efficiency incentives for most of the energy consuming processes found in a food plant. The most common measures that receive incentives under this program are:
• Industrial refrigeration
• Space conditioning
• Heat recovery
• Process optimization
• Control optimization
• Steam process optimization
• Compressed air systems
• Water conservation and water treatment
The incentive rates are $0.05/kWh saved for all lighting measures, $0.15/kWh saved for major hvac & refrigeration measures, $0.09/kWh for all other electricity savings, and $1.00/therm saved for all gas measures. Additionally, we pay $100/peak kW saved.
Thank you for your insights.
For more information on PG&E’s third party energy incentive programs, please contact:
- Assessment, Implementation, and Monitoring Program – EJ Honton, Air Power USA, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 415-845-1076
- Industrial Compressed Air Program – Rupert Dallas, Ecos Air, email@example.com, tel: 503-525-2700 x160
- Comprehensive Food Processing Audit and Resource Efficiency Program - Mark Reedy, Global Energy Partners, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 925-482-2006