By Bob Beckmann PE, C.E.M., Missouri Enterprise Project Manager
Energy conservation is of course a good thing. It’s good for the environment and it’s good economically for companies implementing energy conservation projects. But, sometimes financial the return on investment is long. Missouri Enterprise is currently participating two programs which may help offset the expense of implementing energy conservation projects. If your company qualifies for these programs, it could mean a quicker return on your investment, not to mention money on your bottom line.
USDA REAP Program
This program is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and targets businesses in specific areas of the state of Missouri. If you want to see if you are in one of those qualifying areas, go to https://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do , select the Rural Business tab then select the program group which includes REAP. Finally, you will need to enter your business address.
The REAP (Renewable Energy for America Program) program awards grants of up to 25% of project cost and guaranteed loan financing on energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. So, if you are going to make improvements on your facility that will reduce your energy consumption, the REAP program may be able to help.
Missouri Enterprise is working with the USDA to provide low-cost energy audits to companies planning on participating in the REAP program. The audits, which are modestly priced at just $112.50, are a focused analysis of the project(s) you plan to submit to the USDA. The resulting audit report is specifically geared to the REAP program and is a requirement of the application.
Funds and loans may be used for the purchase, installation and construction of energy efficiency improvements, such as (but not limited to):
- High efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
- Cooling or refrigeration units
- Air system improvements
Funds and loans may also be used for renewable energy systems, such as (but not limited to):
- Geothermal for electric generation or direct use
- Small and large wind generation
- Small and large solar generation
The awarding of all grants and loans is done by the USDA and Missouri Enterprise does not have any influence on that part of the program.
Missouri Enterprise is a Kansas City Power and Light (KCP & L) Trade Ally and works to assist companies who are doing major energy efficiency improvements.
If you are a KCP&L customer, you are currently eligible for a rebate that is equal to $0.10 / kWh for energy efficiency improvements. For larger projects, it’s important to note is that the total rebate to a customer is capped at $100,000 (or 1,000,000 kWh savings).
Missouri Enterprise has additional funding to increase that rebate cap. Unfortunately, it is not at the same rate, but it is additional money which will go to you for those large projects nonetheless. So, if you are undertaking or about to undertake a large energy project, please contact Missouri Enterprise to see if we can assist and possibly help offset the cost of the overall project. To be eligible for this money, the project must be completed before April 1, 2018.
These are just two examples of ways that Missouri Enterprise can help your business save money by reducing your energy usage. We have an Association of Energy Engineers “Certified Energy Manager” on staff to assist you with any energy questions. From basic walk through assessments to full energy audits to implementation of complete control systems, Missouri Enterprise can work with you to maximize your profits while minimizing your expenses. Sometimes an explanation of your monthly energy bill may help identify areas of potential savings. We will work with you to make sure the improvements make fiscal sense so that you don’t end up with a new system that will never earn its keep.
There are many rules, limitations and requirements on the above two programs, so please feel free to contact your Missouri Enterprise Area Business Manager at 800-956-2682 to learn more.