Technical Q&A: Energy Savings Incentives

What Are Some Energy-Saving Methods That May Qualify My Project for Utility-Sponsored Incentives?

Reducing energy consumption remains a vital component to sustainability of the power grid. To encourage this practice, many utilities offer financial incentives to companies that build or expand facilities incorporating energy-conserving features.

For example, the energy-saving tactics Burns & McDonnell implemented on  a refinery expansion qualified it for incentives through the Act On Energy program sponsored by Ameren Illinois.

In response to a mandate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce air emissions from oil refineries, the facility is undergoing renovations. The process uses large compressors and 500-horsepower motors. Variable speed drives were used to control the motor operation. For the majority of the day — 22 to 23 hours — the motors operate at a lower, more energy-efficient horsepower. The use of variable speed drives versus standard starters provides energy savings of nearly 4 million kilowatt hours a year.

This system qualified the client for more than $300,000 in incentives through the Act On Energy program. Utilities in other states offer similar incentives. Burns & McDonnell, along with the client, developed the backup data calculations of energy consumption and completed the application that qualified the project for the incentives.

For more information, contact Robyn Coan, 314-682-1526.

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