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Grocers Pass on Rebates That are Too Complicated

August 13, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

grocery energy manageSingh360 offers a service to supermarkets in the United States to help them secure energy-efficiency rebates from utilities.

“Some supermarkets want help because the application process can take a lot of time and effort,” said Abtar Singh, CEO of Singh360.

According to the company, utilities generally offer two categories of rebates – prescriptive and custom. Prescriptive rebates are usually easy to apply for and to get. Utilities may offer them for straightforward projects such as changing light bulbs or installing VFD or EC motors. The rebate is based on reductions of horsepower or wattage.

Custom rebates are for projects whose savings are more difficult to calculate. Because custom rebates require more work than prescriptive rebates, supermarkets often don’t bother applying. To win a custom rebate, a supermarket may have to provide measurements and data to verify the initiative saved energy. Some utilities may also require the applicant to provide modeling and calculations.

Wally Lindeman, senior manager facilities maintenance at Lunds Food Holdings in Minnesota said he hired Singh360 to help when the company didn’t have the time and resources to do all the paperwork. They were challenged to estimate savings based on model calculations, he said. With help from Singh360, Lunds has secured more than $300,000 in utility incentives so far.

RealWinWin is another company that helps businesses obtain rebates and incentives from utilities in order to conduct energy efficiency projects.

Photo: Supermarket via Shutterstock

One comment on “Grocers Pass on Rebates That are Too Complicated

  1. In many energy service contracts – for audits, commissioning, energy modeling – owners often assume the engineering firms contracted to do the work will also provide the documentation and paper work for incentives as a matter of course. However, as lucrative as incentives can be, the added effort to secure them is not always covered in the engineering fees. It’s important for owners to pay for these analysis and documentation services. A 10% “incentives processing fee” of $20,000 on $200,000 worth of incentives would not be an inordinate expectation.

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