Did you know you’re funding energy efficiency rebates on top of the 37% rate increase??
Energy efficiency charges for a Massachusetts small business.
The recent spike in electric rates has Massachusetts residents and business owners in a panic over the growing utility bills they’ll face this winter. With National Grid rates rising 37% and NStar up 29% from last winter, many commercial customers are left wondering how they’ll accommodate a larger bill and also fund energy efficient upgrades to reduce future spending. For many small to medium-size businesses, electricity is often the third highest expense so a 37% hike could have a profound effect on budgets and profit. Higher electric rates are projected to persist for the next 3-5 years so there’s a big incentive for businesses to pursue energy efficiency. Yet many commercial customers remain skeptical; why would utility companies take money from their own pocket to fund a hefty rebate program? Here’s a hint: you’ve been paying for these rebates all along.
Rising cost of electricity in Massachusetts
For several years industry officials have warned of the backlash that would come from shutting down New England coal and nuclear plants without expanding our natural gas pipeline. Dependence on natural gas has jumped in recent years and about 2/3 of the electricity used in Massachusetts is made from natural gas. Gas has become the top fuel source for electric power plants and for heating but with the limited pipeline capacity in New England, the supply can’t keep up with growing demand.
A recent report from Moody’s predicts high electricity rates will persist for the next 3-4 years, while others say it will be closer to 5 as efforts to increase the natural gas pipeline in New England have been met with significant opposition.
Why utilities offer rebates
Without an increase in natural gas supply, the utilities have limited options for creating electricity. They can either build infrastructure to utilize renewables or convince their customers to reduce energy consumption. Given that it is three times more expensive to build new infrastructure, utility companies work hard to meet demand using existing infrastructure by helping their customers reduce consumption through incentives and rebate programs.
Take a look at your electric bill. See that energy efficiency charge that’s bundled with your delivery fee? You’ve been financially supporting your power company’s efforts to convince you to reduce your electricity use. The result of the recent electric rate jump and limited natural gas supply is that we have a historic window of opportunity to access these tremendous rebates, which 12% of your monthly bill has funded.
Get your money’s worth
At EES Consulting Metrowest Massachusetts, we’re experts at maximizing your energy efficiency rebate. Rather than follow the simple prescriptive rebate process, we create a custom rebate for each individual job in order to get the highest amount with the fastest payback. Give us a call now for a free consultation while the rebate pool is still active!
Written by Frank Collins
Frank Collins is the Regional President of EES Consulting in Marlborough, MA.