LINCOLN – Lincoln Electric System’s Sustainable Energy Program has ended for the year, after the last of its $4 million in financial incentives was reserved Oct. 12, 2015.
If LES’ 2016 proposed budget and rates are approved by the Lincoln City Council, $3 million will be available to customers beginning Jan. 1, 2016, said Marc Shkolnick, LES manager, Energy Services.
The one-year, $1 million decrease in program funds is due in part to the removal of one of the most popular commercial and industrial lighting incentives. Its alteration is the result of changing governmental standards for industrial lighting.
According to Shkolnick, “LES wants to ensure it’s adhering to industry best practices to maximize value to all customer-owners, regardless of their participation in the program.
“We’re also interested in understanding what the cost-effective potential is for future energy-efficiency initiatives,” Shkolnick said.
LES has hired a consultant to research program options the utility could begin offering as early as 2017.
More than 2,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers participated in the program’s four major incentives this year, which ranged from increasing home insulation to installing high-efficiency heat pumps and air conditioners, and other commercial and industrial projects.
In addition, nearly 800 inefficient, secondary refrigerators and freezers were recycled as part of the 2015 Sustainable Energy Program.
The Sustainable Energy Program benefits the environment and saves money for all LES customer-owners because it decreases the need to purchase more expensive power during the summer months and delays the need for new power generation, Shkolnick said. Over the life of the program, 30 megawatts of projected peak-demand savings and more than 100,000 megawatt-hours of annual energy reduction also have been achieved. To attain comparable CO2 reductions, 18,000 cars would need to be removed from the road, he said.
For more information about the program or for LES energy-saving tips, visit LES.com.