It seems counterintuitive: A company that helps local businesses use less of its product so those businesses can save money. But that’s exactly what your local electric cooperative is designed to do.
Why? Because you aren’t a customer, you’re a member—and that can make a huge difference for our commercial and industrial members. Whether you’re planning a new construction project or you just want to use less electricity, we can help you find the best ways to be more energy efficient. That includes incentives and rebates to help make your projects even more affordable.
To learn more about how C&I members can benefit from POWER MOVES® programs, we spoke with Nick Dombrosky, an Energy Engineer at Franklin Energy who loves helping businesses become leaner, meaner, and a little bit greener.
POWER MOVES: What are the biggest concerns you hear from businesses about their energy use?
NICK DOMBROSKY: A lot of members reach out to us when there’s a high bill, and they want to see if there’s anything they can do. The first step for us is to have a quick conversation to try and understand their facility, and how it’s using energy. Members know their facilities, they know what’s using energy, and I can determine what the culprits might be.
A lot of times, for instance, it may come down to older equipment that has to run a lot, but isn’t as efficient as it could be. And whenever necessary, I’m always happy to schedule a time to go and tour their facility if it’s a little more complicated.
What are the most common areas where commercial members can improve their energy efficiency?
A lot of our commercial members have large facilities and warehouses that use older-style light fixtures. Some of those fixtures put out as much as 450 watts. With our program, we’ll do a retrofit with LED lighting and reduce that to 90 to 200 watts. Just like that, we can make a huge reduction in energy use, with a bulb that produces the same amount of light with a lot less power. And it’s such a common problem that it makes up about 80% of our program right now.
Another big problem we see are older, inefficient motors. Air compressors, motors that run pumps, those are often 30-year-old systems that can be made a lot more efficient with modern technology, whether that means purchasing a better system or commissioning a new motor to perform a specific job more efficiently.
And POWER MOVES offers rebates and incentives for those upgrades.
Exactly. We really have two kinds of incentive programs. The first is prescriptive, in which we incentivize members to build to certain standards, or to replace equipment with more efficient technology that meets those standards. So in those cases we have specific incentives designed for specific projects.
But the other program covers all those things that we haven’t measured the savings for. If a member wants to do something unique, or customized to their specific needs, we can create a unique incentive to help them get it done. We want our commercial and industrial members to know we’ll work with them, and that we’re always open to new ideas.
What’s the application process like for getting a rebate? Are there a lot of hoops to jump through?
We try to make it as straightforward as possible. The first step is to contact your local energy advisor and tell them about your project. Getting us involved from the very beginning helps ensure that members meet all the standards and requirements to qualify for a rebate.
More than anything, that’s what I hope members take away from this. We’re always happy to answer questions, large or small. If you want to save energy, don’t hesitate to reach out.