Thermal Energy Storage

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.

Change the way you cool your building and save.

Austin Energy offers substantial rebates on thermal energy storage systems. This includes rebates on the energy demand you shift and feasibility study reimbursement.

Thermal energy storage systems work with conventional refrigeration equipment to produce cold water or ice. This chilled water or ice is stored in a tank and used to cool a building during peak hours. This allows you to shift electric cooling operations to off-peak hours, saving money and reducing peak demand.

There are several benefits to shifting demand using thermal energy storage:

  • Save in summer and winter with thermal energy storage rates.
  • Perform daytime maintenance with fewer cooling interruptions.
  • Add back-up cooling capacity.

Austin Energy offers significant rebates based on your anticipated kilowatt shift. We provide rebates to make even small thermal energy storage systems more affordable.

Feasibility Study

Before installing a thermal energy storage system, you must have a Feasibility Study conducted by an engineering firm. The Feasibility Study evaluates the cost effectiveness and technical viability of installing a thermal energy storage system. The engineering firm takes care of all applications and paperwork related to the Feasibility Study.

If the Feasibility Study anticipates a peak demand shift of over 100 kW, Austin Energy will cover the Feasibility Study cost (up to $12,000). If anticipated peak demand shift is 100 kW or less, Austin Energy will not assist with Feasibility Study costs, but will estimate the kW that would be eligible for rebate.

Thermal Energy Storage Rates

Customers who install a thermal energy system are eligible for Thermal Energy Storage rates. This rate schedule features shorter summer and on-peak periods. Once you install your thermal energy storage system, contact your Key Accounts Representative to enter you into the Thermal Energy Storage rate schedule.

Download Load Shifting Voltage Discount Rider (pdf)

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. 

Other Energy Efficiency Incentives

Increasing energy efficiency in your building saves your business money.  Our Commercial Rebates help you make energy efficiency improvements that can reduce operational costs by saving you money on your monthly bill. We provide rebates on these energy efficiency improvements and more:

Feasibility Study Reimbursement

Austin Energy covers eligible Feasibility Study costs (up to $12,000).

If anticipated peak demand shift is 100 kW or less, Austin Energy will not assist with Feasibility Study costs, but will estimate the kW that would be eligible for rebate.

Demand Shift

We then provide rebates at the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) rate of $350 per kW shifted.

Rebates are subject to limits as established by the Austin City Council.

Thermal Energy Storage Rates

Customers who install thermal energy storage systems qualify for special rates. Contact your Key Account Representative for more information.

Download Load Shifting Voltage Discount Rider (pdf)

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

  • You must shift between 20-50% of the facility demand or 1,000 kW, whichever is less. (May be waived by Austin Energy on an individual basis.)
  • If the anticipated peak demand is greater than 100 kW, we will require a detailed energy analysis by a Professional Engineer.
  • If the anticipated peak demand shift is 100 kW or less, Austin Energy will not require a detailed analysis, but we will not assist with feasibility study costs
  • You must allow Austin Energy to install an interval data recording meter. Austin Energy uses this meter to record your on-, mid-, and off-peak energy use for billing purposes.
  • You agree to keep the qualifying equipment at the installation site you indicate on your rebate application.

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 to Get Started

Contact Austin Energy Commercial Rebates at 512-482-5346 or by email to get started. We will schedule an initial facility assessment to determine rebate eligibility.

If your facility qualifies, the Austin Energy representative will give you a list of engineering firms who can conduct your Feasibility Study. You may also choose your own qualified engineering firm.

Choose an Engineering Firm to Conduct Feasibility Study

Choose an engineering firm to conduct your Feasibility Study. The engineer you choose will also help you with the application and agreement process.

The engineering firm submits the Feasibility Study to Austin Energy. We will review it for completeness and accuracy. If there are any deficiencies in the study, we will submit comments to the Professional Engineer.

Austin Energy will let you know when the study is approved and process the reimbursement for the feasibility study. We pay the feasibility study cost up to $12,000. If anticipated peak demand shift is 100 kW or less, Austin Energy will not assist with Feasibility Study costs, but will estimate the kW that would be eligible for rebate.

City Council Budgetary Limits

The City Council approves projects where rebates could exceed the City Manager's administrative spending authority under the City Charter, which is $58,000 for fiscal year 2016. Please allow time for this approval.

Your rebate may not exceed the maximum combined rebate per customer site per fiscal year. For 2016, that maximum is $300,000.

Letter of Intent

If Austin Energy approves the application, we will issue a Letter of Intent at your request. For rebate applications that exceed pre-determined City Council budgetary limits, Austin Energy will issue a Letter of Intent only after City Council approval. The Letter of Intent will be valid for 270 days to allow time to complete the installation.

Rebate and Inspection Process

After Austin Energy approves the Feasibility Study, submit your rebate application for the thermal energy storage installation. Your application must include feasibility study results or Austin Energy’s demand shift estimate.

After you complete installation, Austin Energy will schedule a final inspection. You will receive your rebate within four to six weeks after the installation passes final inspection unless it exceeds City Council limits. We send your rebate check to the business listed on the Payee section of your application unless you specify otherwise.

Ask your Key Accounts Representative to enter you into the Thermal Energy Storage rate schedule.

Download the Load Shifting Voltage Discount Rider (pdf)

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 $58,000 for fiscal year 2017. 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.

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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