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Don't Wait 'til it Breaks!


Don’t wait ’til aging HVAC equipment breaks! Did you know that early replacement of your HVAC system with new energy efficient equipment can be rebate eligible? There are many reasons to consider replacing your HVAC equipment early:

  1. Maintenance cost reduction. As commercial HVAC equipment gets older parts can begin to fail and the maintenance costs can add up. For example, compressor failure and replacement can be quite expensive and when the rest of the unit is old and other parts have been failing, it may not make sense to spend money to replace a major component like this.
  2. Improved occupant comfort. HVAC equipment operation can degrade over time, especially if it has not been properly maintained, and it may not be delivering the same performance. For example, if there are significant shifts in temperature or the equipment does not provide proper latent cooling, chances are the equipment isn’t working properly and paying to get it fixed could end up costing a lot of money and it may not even fix the problem.
  3. Reduced monthly utility bills. You may not realize it but as your HVAC equipment has aged, it may be causing an unexpected rise in the utility bill. There have been several improvements made to HVAC equipment over the years and today's units are more efficient than ever. Replacing they equipment early can lead to lower utility bills while delivering better performance.

WARNING: Some utility programs require pre-approval or pre-inspection. The time it takes for either of these would be too long for a building to go without equipment until it gets replaced. That’s why it’s so important to keep your eye on how your commercial HVAC equipment is operating. Just keep in mind that each utility rebate program is different and has very different requirements to get incentives for commercial HVAC equipment replacement.

Here is some information on how HVAC programs can be structured and how most utilities look at incentives. Since rebate programs are designed to promote upgrading equipment with energy efficiency in mind, most programs won’t incentivize the replacement of failed equipment at all. So, it makes sense to upgrade before that happens, then the rebates will help offset that upfront cost. The upgrade will also immediately start saving money on utility bills and decrease the risk of unforeseen maintenance costs.

About 75% of the programs that offer lighting rebates also offer HVAC rebates, it’s frequently viewed as the second most common energy efficiency incentive.

HVAC can be incentivized in multiple ways, based on energy savings or a dollar amount per unit, but the most common rebate type for HVAC is per ton. The values of these rebates can vary significantly based on your utility, with $50 per ton being the most common rebate for packaged rooftop units and many utilities offering between $100-$500 per ton.

Additionally, some utilities will incentivize you to become even more efficient with your upgrade, offering higher incentive levels for more efficient equipment.

By upgrading commercial HVAC systems, it can lower operating costs, increase energy efficiency, and if the upgrade is considered and started early, you can submit for utility incentives to help with the project cost. you can apply for utility program incentives to help with the project cost. Replacing commercial HVAC equipment before it fails will save time, money, and it might not cost as much as anticipated. Utility rebates for HVAC equipment can lower the cost of the new equipment and act as an incentive for the upgrade.

Key takeaways about upgrading commercial HVAC equipment:

  1. If you wait until commercial HVAC equipment totally fails, is nearing the end of its lifespan, or is costing a lot of money for repairs you may have to do an emergency replacement and then miss out on utility rebates for the new more energy efficient equipment.
  2. Utility incentives can help with the cost of the project and make it more appealing to complete the project now versus later.
  3. Don’t wait ‘til it breaks!
Ashley Garia
Ashley Garia
Director of Marketing & CX, Encentiv Energy

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