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Thought Leadership from Sieben Energy Associates

ComEd’s Efficiency Incentive Program Offers New Benefits to Electric Customers

ComEd’s Efficiency Incentive Program Offers New Benefits to Electric Customers

June saw the launch of the ninth year of ComEd's Smart Ideas for Your Business program of energy efficiency incentives for commercial and industrial customers. (ComEd is the electric utility that serves northern Illinois, including Chicago and its suburbs.) The utility's retro-commissioning program generated significant energy savings in the immediately preceding program year ending May 31, 2016. A total of 130 business customers of ComEd received more than $2.8 million in retro-commissioning service incentives over 12 months, yielding 260,000 megawatt-hours of energy reduction.

And the new program year underway in June is already bringing the benefits of the retro-commissioning incentive program to a host of new customers. For the current year, ComEd's goals include targeting energy savings of more than 280,000 megawatt-hours and distributing more than $3.44 million in service incentives. Service incentives are now available for ComEd customers whose buildings have as little as 100kW peak demand, with incentives of $10,000 to $100,000 available here.

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...And Energy Planning For All

Energy planning has become essential business practice at many major corporations. Understandably, smaller organizations have been slower to join the trend. Now may be the time to act. After falling sharply during the recession, energy prices are expected to escalate substantially in the near future. In addition, sustainability and energy benchmarks have become increasingly important to potential customers and investors looking to differentiate organizations. For these reasons, an actionable, effective energy plan is a valuable tool in the hands of leadership of any organization, large or small. 

This overview of energy planning first examines how select corporations have integrated energy into their strategic planning. Regardless of size, industry, budget, or location, thinking about energy and implementing steps to improve energy consumption and procurement have the potential to reduce cost, improve efficiency, and excite existing and potential clients and customers. Whether you employ four, four hundred, or forty thousand people, a realistic energy plan can help sustain and grow your business.Copy this template before you save.

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Retro-Commissioning and Existing Buildings: Increasing Value by Optimizing System Performance

Many people are familiar with the term "energy efficiency." The Energy Star label that has appeared on qualifying home appliances since 1992 has helped raise awareness of how everyday operations (refrigerating food, washing clothes, cooling air) can often be accomplished with less energy. And most Americans likely recognize the meaning of "going green." The media and many prominent companies have tossed around the "green" label so often in recent years that it has begun to lose its luster. Retro-commissioning has also been around for years, but it has far less popular recognition and advertising pull. Despite its potential to transform buildings across the country and dramatically reduce energy consumption, very few folks are familiar with—or have even heard of—the term "retro-commissioning." 

Commissioning in the context of new buildings is the process of verifying that all building systems are functioning properly and efficiently in accordance with design specifications. Building commissioning engineers focus on optimizing the building's performance to maximize occupant comfort while minimizing energy consumption: they ensure that components ordered by design firms, provided by vendors, and installed by subcontractors all work together effectively.

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