Custom Technologies

Rebates & Incentives

Rebates & Incentives
Commercial
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Austin Energy

Customer Energy Solutions

721 Barton Springs Road

Austin, TX 78704

email icon   Customer Energy Solutions

phone icon   512-482-5346

Save Money & Energy
Save Money & Energy

Saving energy and money go hand-in-hand. We can all contribute to reducing Austin’s energy demand by making simple lifestyle changes and energy-efficient home improvements. When demand decreases, we all save. Austin Energy is committed to helping our customers achieve the greatest savings possible.

Customize your energy savings.

Austin Energy offers rebates to commercial customers who use custom energy-saving equipment or processes. 

Austin Energy provides rebates on custom projects not eligible for other Austin Energy rebates. Any new equipment or process that shows measurable efficiency improvement may be eligible. This includes:

  • Fan modifications
  • Absorption dehumidification
  • Process plant pumping modifications
  • Outside air intake reduction
  • Wire up-sizing
  • Cold storage insulation
  • Refrigeration system improvements
  • Fume hood modifications
  • Variable air volume systems
  • Demand control ventilation
  • Heat recovery systems
  • Elevator modification
  • Air compressor modifications
  • Process changes

To determine your rebate, Austin Energy will set a baseline based on our initial inspection results. Equipment that has failed or exceeded 50% of its life expectancy cannot be used to establish a baseline. To determine kilowatt (kW) savings, we use:

  • Code minimum requirements
  • Documented industry minimum efficiencies for similar equipment
  • Estimated loading or defaults as determined by Austin Energy
  • Performance of comparable equipment that is less efficient

PACE Financing Available

Austin Energy provides various opportunities for our customers to purchase energy efficient technologies. Many of these reduce energy consumption and enhance comfort and indoor air quality for your customers. PACE is an effective financing approach. Travis and Williamson County PACE programs enable owners of non-profit, commercial, and industrial properties to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for water and energy efficiency improvements and solar generation retrofits.  

Private sector lenders finance qualified improvements and property owners voluntarily agree to contractual assessments imposed on the property. PACE improvements generate positive cash flow with no out-of-pocket cost to the property owner. If the property is sold before the full amount is repaid, the repayment obligation automatically transfers to the next owner. PACE assessments complement Austin Energy incentive programs. 

This program offers $350 per kW for Type A (equipment) or $200 per kW for Type B (process) projects reduced for a wide range of applications based on the baseline.

Prerequisites

  • Commercial rebates are available for Austin Energy customers with commercial electric service. Businesses located on properties with residential electric service should refer to Austin Energy residential rebates.
  • The building where the equipment will be installed must comply with the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance (unless exempt or located outside of Austin city limits).
  • Multifamily properties applying for commercial rebates (for master-metered properties or work undertaken in common spaces) must meet all Multifamily Program and equipment installation requirements. Properties must not be on not be listed with the City of Austin Code Department’s Repeat Offender Program.
  • For standard retrofits and equipment replacement, applicants must submit rebate applications prior to installation. For new construction projects, applications must be submitted before the certificate of occupancy is issued. Rebates will not be provided retroactively to equipment or retrofits that have already been installed.
  • Rebates are only available for equipment or retrofits that:
    • use electricity as its primary or secondary fuel type (please refer to Texas Gas Service for rebates on natural gas equipment);
    • provide a necessary business function and operate between 3:00pm to 6:00pm on weekdays during June through September (schools and houses of worship are exempt from these requirements);
    • provide kW savings by exceeding requirements for energy efficiency listed in City of Austin Energy Code Chapter 25-12-261 or as determined by Austin Energy;
    • are new, energized, and have a minimum one year warranty (backup or redundant systems are not eligible); and
    • are installed in permanent buildings or structures.

Specific Requirements

  • This rebate applies for existing buildings and new construction.
  • If you qualify for any of our standard commercial rebates, you may not receive a Custom Technologies rebate unless Austin Energy approves.
  • All decisions Austin Energy makes regarding rebate amounts are final.
  • Energy storage technologies are not eligible.
  • Due to the specialized nature of custom energy improvement projects, Austin Energy may require a detailed energy analysis by a Texas professional engineer.
  • You must attach engineering submittals to the rebate application if a project requires one. Austin Energy must approve the application at least 30 days before work starts.
  • If the rebate is $50,000 or more, a Texas professional engineer must sign, seal, and date your rebate application (unless Austin Energy waives this requirement).
  • Equipment that has failed or exceeded 50% life cannot be used to establish baseline.
  • You must identify comparable, lower-efficiency equipment to establish baseline performance.
  • You must be able to measure efficiency improvements in kilowatts per standard cubic feet per minute (kW/scfm), kW/ton, or a similar measurement.
  • The new equipment must perform the same amount of work and production as the old equipment.
  • Savings cannot result from a set point adjustment, such as air pressure or temperature changes; these changes must be factored out of the rebate.
  • Austin Energy will calculate demand impacts using average demand for equipment whose cycles have variable loading.
  • The equipment, system, process, or modification must have at least a five year life expectancy.
  • You must use field observations to verify power use estimates and document operation conditions. Austin Energy will not base rebates on power measurements.
  • Bonus incentives for retrofit projects are not eligible.
  • You agree to keep the equipment at the installation site you indicate on your rebate application.
  • You allow Austin Energy to inspect the installation site for the duration of the agreement.

Commercial Rebate Program Requirements

  • Austin Energy can help customers evaluate energy efficiency opportunities for their business or organization. Please email us for assistance on calculating potential rebates or other technical guidance.
  • Applications must qualify to receive at least $25 in rebates.
  • The customer or contractor applying for the rebate must:
    • submit all required application information and equipment documentation (incomplete applications are placed on hold and may be cancelled after 90 days); and
    • agree to schedule pre-installation and post-installation site visits to allow Austin Energy staff to verify existing and installed equipment.
  • For customers or properties applying for a rebate to upgrade or retrofit the same equipment that received a historical Austin Energy rebate within the past 10 years, the new rebate will be calculated based on the incremental energy savings. For example, if a customer or property received a historical lighting rebate, any new lighting equipment rebates will be calculated using the incremental energy savings between the existing and new equipment. Exemptions for this requirement due to emergency replacement of failed equipment are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • A 30% bonus rebate is available for eligible: 1) locally owned or franchised small-business customers; 2) small 501(c) non-profit organizations; 3) and houses of worship. Contact us to determine if you qualify.
    • Eligible small businesses must: 1) provide a W-9 verifying the business is locally owned or franchised (headquartered in the Austin metropolitan area); and 2) have an average monthly peak summer demand (June through September) lower than 300 kW.
    • Eligible small non-profits must: 1) provide an IRS determination letter or similar IRS documentation verifying their tax-exempt 501(c) status; and 2) have an average monthly peak summer demand (June through September) lower than 300 kW. Tax exempt real estate trusts and housing co-ops are not eligible to receive this bonus.
    • All houses of worship are eligible, regardless of average peak summer demand.
  • Rebates will not be paid unless all installed equipment and retrofits comply with manufacturer requirements and all local, state, and federal regulations, including building code and permitting requirements. For requirements on when electrical permits are required, refer to City of Austin Municipal Code chapter 25-12-113, section 80.19(c). For requirements on when permits are required for mechanical work, refer to City of Austin Municipal code chapter 25-12-133, section 104.2. For more information on mechanical, electrical, and building permits contact the City of Austin Department of Development Services.
  • Commercial Program rebates are subject to capping based on the total project cost related to the installation of the rebated equipment or retrofits. The applicant is responsible for reporting total job cost and Austin Energy reserves the right to require a signed, itemized invoice or work order for verification.
    • Standard Commercial Program rebates cannot exceed 50% of total job costs.
    • Rebates cannot exceed 80% of total job costs for locally owned small businesses, non-profits, and houses of worship that receive the 30% bonus.
  • By default, the rebate payment is directed to the customer listed on the Austin Energy electric account. The rebate may also be directed to one of the below parties if all requirements are met.
    • A parent corporation or organization of the account holder
    • The building owner, verified using county tax records
    • A tenant at the property, whom must provide a letter signed by the account holder authorizing the rebate to be paid to the tenant
    • A participating contractor or any other 3rd party, whom must: 1) register as a City of Austin vendor; 2) register in Austin Energy's rebate processing system; and 3) provide a letter signed by the account holder authorizing the rebate to be paid to that party
  • If a participating contractor plans to submit more than one rebate application on behalf of Austin Energy customers, they are required to: 1) register as a City of Austin vendor; and 2) register in Austin Energy's rebate processing system.
  • Austin Energy reserves the right to deny or adjust all rebate applications.
  • Participating contractors must comply with all program requirements and conduct business in an honest, professional, and ethical manner. All participating contractors must abide by the Austin Energy Code of Conduct and Ethical Requirements (pdf)​.

Interested?

We can help you learn more about your rebate and savings options before you apply.

Request an Assessment

Apply for a Rebate Online

You can apply for your rebate online. To make applying easier, have all required information on hand before you start.

Apply Online

Are You Waiting For a Rebate?

Use the confirmation (enrollment) and utility account numbers to check the status of your rebate application.

Check Status

Comply with ECAD to Qualify for Rebate

If your building is over 10,000 sq ft, you must be in compliance with the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance. ECAD promotes energy efficiency by identifying potential energy savings for your business. You can choose one of two reporting options that best serve your business.

Learn more about ECAD for Commercial Buildings

Contact Austin Energy for More Information

Call 512-482-5346 or email Commercial Rebates if you have any questions about our rebates.

Apply for Your Rebate Online

All rebate applications are online. You must submit your rebate application prior to installation (Austin Energy must approve any exceptions). You will receive your rebate within four to six weeks after we give final approval for your rebate application. We send your rebate check to the business listed on the Payee section of your application unless you specify otherwise.

The City Council approves projects where rebates could exceed the City Manager's administrative spending authority under the City Charter, which is $61,000 for fiscal year 2019. Please allow time for this approval.

The following required documents will be needed to apply for a rebate:

  • W-9 (if account holder requests payment to a third party representative)
  • Letter of Authorization (if applicable)

Tips for Applying Online

  • Use a modern browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer 9 or higher.
  • You need to complete your online Commercial Rebate application in a single session. 
  • To make applying easier, have all available information on hand before beginning the application.
  • If your application requires supporting documentation, such as invoices or sales receipts, you will need to scan or photograph these documents and upload into the application system. The system will accept any of the following file formats:
    • Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf)
    • Microsoft Word Document (.doc or .docx)
    • JPEG (.jpg)
    • ZIP (.zip)
  • Check your rebate status using the confirmation (enrollment) number you receive after the application submission. You will also need your City of Austin utility account number, if applicable.

Additional Documents

Commercial Rebate Summary (pdf)

Disclaimer

Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Offerings, program guidelines, and rebate levels are subject to change without notice. Rebate funds are encumbered (committed to be paid) during the fiscal year in which they are to be dispersed.

The Austin City Council must approve rebates of more than $61,000. The maximum combined rebate is $300,000 per customer site per fiscal year (October through September).



Date last reviewed or modified: 4/29/19
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