Energy Incentive Programs, Utah

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Updated February 2015

In 2009 Utah adopted a resolution that directs the Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve energy efficiency programs that will save at least 1% of electric utilities’ annual retail sales, and 0.5% per year for gas utilities. Utah utilities budgeted over $65 million in 2013 to promote energy efficiency and load management in the state.

What public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs are available in my state?

Utah has no public-purpose-funded energy efficiency programs.

What utility energy efficiency programs are available to me?

PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power has consolidated its incentives for commercial, industrial, and irrigation customers into the wattsmart business program.

  • Typical upgrades cover a wide array of projects from lighting to HVAC to green motor rewinds.

  • Custom projects pay $0.15 per first-year kWh savings and $50/kW average monthly demand reduction (maximum payout of 70% of project cost). If required, individual measure incentives will be adjusted downward pro-rata so that the project has a simple payback after incentives of one year.

Questar Gas sponsors two programs:

  • The Thermwise Business Program provides rebates for efficient HVAC, water heating, boilers, food service and laundry equipment as well as for high-efficiency windows and roof and wall insulation for existing buildings or new construction projects. Rebates vary depending on the type and capacity of the equipment.

  • The custom rebates program offers incentives of $1.00 per verified first-year therm saved (up to 50% of eligible incurred project cost) for the installation of projects that reduce natural gas usage through measures not included in the prescriptive list. Both programs are available for existing buildings and new construction applications.

What load management/demand response options are available to me?

PacifiCorp/Rocky Mountain Power sponsors several demand response programs for Utah business customers:

  • The Energy Exchange program is an internet-based, voluntary demand reduction program open to customers with at least one MW of connected load. Rocky Mountain Power notifies participating customers and posts a price on the Energy Exchange website for each hour in which load reductions are needed, and customers may respond by pledging to curtail a specified amount of their load. Participants are paid the posted price per unit of measured energy reduction in each hour they curtail. 

  • The Irrigation Load Control Program offers financial incentives to irrigators who agree to curtail electricity use during certain periods. Irrigators choose which sites to enroll in the program and which load control option best suits their needs. Rocky Mountain Power installs an electric timer at participating sites. Compensation is determined by multiplying the average load (kW) a customer can reliably shut-off during program hours by the incentive rate, adjusted for event participation. The incentive rate is set by customers’ average expected kW per pump.

  • The Cool Keeper program provides a nominal annual bill credit in exchange for allowing the utility to install at no cost a web-programmable thermostat or digital control unit (DCU). On selected peak demand weekdays from June 1 through August 30, the utility will coordinate load reduction for participating air conditioner units.

What distributed energy resource options are available to me?

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) website provides information on programs that offer incentives for renewable distributed generation. The following programs may be of interest to federal customers:

Rocky Mountain Power’s Solar Incentive Program 2015 payments include $0.90/watt of installed PV solar for small non-residential customers (up to 25 kW system size) and $0.70/watt for large customers (up to 1,000 kW). 

Utah provides a Renewable Energy Systems Tax Credit of $50,000 or 10% of qualifying systems, whichever is less. Eligible technologies include solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, geothermal, hydro, and biomass. Although federal agencies can not use this tax credit directly, it can be assigned to a tax-paying entity, such as an energy service company (ESCO) or other project developer.

Are there energy efficiency programs sponsored by the state government?

Utah’s state government does not currently offer any energy efficiency programs to federal customers. For information on potential future opportunities, contact the Utah Office of Energy Development.

What additional opportunities are available to me?

Federal customers whose utilities have area-wide contracts through GSA may be able to take advantage of 3rd-party financed energy efficiency projects called utility energy services contracts (UESCs). Information is available in GSA’s Energy Division Library. Federal facilities should contact their account executive to determine the level of each utility's participation.