Ameren Missouri plans to invest $62 million from 2013 to 2015 in the BizSavers program, part of the company’s 3-year, $147 million plan to upgrade energy efficiency programs.
Of the $62 million, $32 million is being used for cash incentives that encourage non-residential customers to complete energy efficiency projects. The overall cost of the BizSavers program also includes administration, marketing, technical assistance, an engineering review and an independent third-party evaluation of the program.
In 2009, the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act was signed into law, and it allows Ameren to recoup the costs of the program by incorporating them into rates. Ameren Missouri filed a new energy efficiency proposal in January 2012 that was approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission in August 2012.
Since the second cycle of the BizSavers program started in January, participating businesses have completed 212 projects, and Ameren has paid out $520,084 in incentives. That cycle runs through 2015.
In the first cycle of the program, from 2009 to 2011, businesses completed 3,586 projects, and Ameren Missouri paid out about $20 million in incentives.
“The incentives typically represent about 20 to 25% of the project costs”, said Shelly Hendry, the program manager for business energy efficiency programs at Ameren Missouri. There is a cap of $1 million in incentives individual businesses can receive each year.
Earlier this year, Pole Position Raceway in Crestwood installed new energy efficient lighting and received $15,405 in incentives from Ameren Missouri. The raceway will be able to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 111 metric tons due to the improvements, according to Ameren officials.
Code 3, a manufacturer of emergency vehicle sirens based in Overland received a $24,000 incentive, the most Ameren Missouri has paid out so far this year, for its investment in a lighting project.
Last year, Ameren approved the T5 Retrofit Kit for rebates for customers who switch our T12 lamps.
On the other hand, Mississippi Power Co. says it opposes energy efficiency rules because bills could rise for customers who don’t make homes or businesses more efficient.
A number of utilities and consumer groups say they support proposed energy efficiency rules that would require Mississippi electric and gas utilities to implement programs to save energy. The Public Service Commission began considering energy efficiency rules in early 2010. A number of states have adopted similar rules. A study says the proposals could cost utilities $90 million in the first year, in addition to $70 million customers would spend after rebates. Long-term benefits could include the need for fewer new power plants.