Getting money back for efficiency

Aren't there tax credits and rebates if I find ways to save energy? How do I apply?


Dear Control Engineering: Our company has installed some new high-efficiency electric motors. Aren’t there supposed to be tax credits that will help us pay for them? Where should we be looking for such programs?


Yes, all sorts of groups are interested in all of us using energy more efficiently and getting it from renewable sources. That includes federal, state, and local governments, along with utility companies and foundations. The question is, where to you find this information as the first step to cashing in.


Your friends at the U.S. Federal Government are here to help. The Department of Energy has put together a program called DSIRE (database of state incentives for renewables and efficiency). So if you desire to use it, go to its Website. There are dozens of schemes that reward using energy from renewable sources or using it more efficiently in all sorts of ways. They can include everything from better motors and drives to putting new seals on your refrigerator.


To see how it works, I checked the site to see what might be available if CFE Media installed some snazzy new high-efficiency motors. Here in the Chicago suburbs, we buy our power from ComEd, and it has a program called Smart Ideas for Business Efficiency Program. It says I can get a utility rebate for deploying eligible efficiency technologies, including:


“Refrigerators, Equipment Insulation, Lighting, Lighting Controls/Sensors, Chillers, Central Air conditioners, Energy Management Systems/Building Controls, Motors, Motor VFDs, Custom/Others pending approval, Led Exit Signs, Vending Machine Controls, Commercial Cooking Equipment, Commercial Refrigeration Equipment, Food Service Equipment.”


This is just an example. There are all sorts of incentives but they vary all over the place. The site will help you see what is available not only on a federal level, but locally as well. You may find that more than one program applies to your situation.


Peter Welander,

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