Industrial and Process Efficiency Program Frequently Asked Questions

Funding Opportunities

Q: How much money is available?
A:NYSERDA has approximately $39 million for studies and installations at Manufacturing and Data Center facilities that pay the System Benefits Charge (SBC).

Q: How much money is available per facility?
A: Incentives are paid based on annualized energy savings and are currently capped at 50% of project cost or $1 million per electric project and $500,000 per fossil fuel project. Each customer is subject to a total program incentive cap of $2 million for any combination of electric and fossil fuel projects.

Q: Is there a due date I need to respond to?
A: The incentives are provided on a first-come, first-served basis through December 31, 2019, or until funds are exhausted.

Q: I've heard that the Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) offer programs. Is NYSERDA working with the gas and electric Transmission and Distribution (T&D) utilities?
A: NYSERDA is working with the utilities on customer meetings and coordination of program offerings to ensure the best energy services possible are available to the State's SBC customers.

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Q: How are the incentives calculated?
A: Incentives are paid based on one full year of energy savings. For productivity improvements the energy savings will be calculated by determining energy use per unit of production or workload before and after the improvement, and multiplying the difference by the new output.

Q: When are the incentives paid?
A: NYSERDA will pay a maximum of 60% of the incentive when installation is complete. Progress payments also are available on this installation payment for costs incurred to support installation (design, equipment purchase, etc.).

The remaining 40% of the incentive generally is paid when the project's energy savings have been measured and verified (M&V). M&V periods are generally one to two years; however, if you or your management is concerned about cash flow, NYSERDA will work with you to accelerate performance payments.

Q: Are incentives available for electric efficiency projects?
A: Yes. NYSERDA will pay $0.10/kWh upstate and $0.16/kWh in Con Edison territory.

Q: Are incentives available for fossil fuel efficiency projects?
A: Yes. NYSERDA will pay $6/MMBtu for projects that reduce fossil fuel usage. Examples of fuels include, but are not limited to: fuel oil #2, propane, natural gas, and compressed natural gas.

Q: Are operational and maintenance incentives available?
A: Yes. Incentives are available for process improvements based on operational changes. Incentives are $0.04/kWh and $3/MMBtu, with an incentive cap of 50% of the project cost to implement the operational improvement. Eligible measures can include, but are not limited to:

  • Compressed air system leak management
  • Replacement of leaking steam traps
  • Installation of cogged style fan belts
  • Burner tune-up

Q: How do I get started?
A: Send an email to Call 1-866-NYSERDA. A representative will then contact you to discuss your needs, schedule a meeting with your team, and assist with the application process.

Q: Are there incentives available for non-manufacturing companies?
A: Yes, NYSERDA has incentives for commercial customers as well. See the Commercial Implementation Assistance Program for more information.

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Eligibility and Participation

Q: Will my incentives be reduced if I only pay SBC on a portion of my bill?
A: No. NYSERDA no longer prorates partial SBC customers. 

Q: Does the program require me to share information about the project with others?
A: No. Participation in case studies, awards, or press events is completely voluntary, and any materials published or used by NYSERDA will be approved by you before they are used.

Q: Does my project need to be innovative?
A: No. This program is for custom, site, and process-specific solutions that used commercially available systems and technologies.

Q: Is my facility eligible to participate in NYSERDA programs?
A: To qualify for participation in NYSERDA programs you must be a customer of one of the following utilities and pay into the SBC.

NYSERDA offers capital incentives and sets incentive caps across all of New York State. These incentives exist for utility (gas & electric) companies. This table will help you determine whether you're eligible for them.

Utility Company Electric
Downstate Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. X
Upstate Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation X
National Grid Generation d/b/a National Grid X
National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation
New York State Electric & Gas Corporation X
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. X
Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation X

Q: What projects are eligible?
A: NYSERDA's focus is on projects that improve manufacturing process productivity and data center efficiency and reduce electricity and/or fossil fuel consumption. For example, projects that increase throughput, reduce scrap, and improve productivity and prioritize and optimize server loads all have an energy component and may be eligible for a NYSERDA incentive. 

Q: Are projects that result in an increase in overall energy consumption eligible?
A: Yes. One of the goals of this program is to invest in smart, energy-efficient manufacturing and data center growth in New York. To accomplish this, NYSERDA incentives are based on improvements in energy use per unit of production or computing.

Q: What baseline is used to determine energy savings and incentives?
A: Industrial and data center operations are complex systems and there are no codes or standards that govern how they are to be run. This means that no two projects are exactly the same and we cannot use a standard baseline to compare all projects. To accommodate this, the IPE incentive is a custom measure program and NYSERDA's staff and consulting team will work with the customer to establish an appropriate baseline for each project.

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Manufacturing Project Example 1

A manufacturing company in central New York was considering adding a new piece of production equipment when they contacted NYSERDA. They currently had two machines and they needed additional capacity. The company had a strategy to purchase a new piece of equipment that ran at a higher rate, rather than buying more of the equipment they had already. In addition to making more pieces per hour, the new machine produced a vacuum more efficiently than the existing equipment, saving 325,950 kWh per year. As an additional benefit, the company was able to downsize their air compressor and save an additional 135,200 kWh per year. 

Manufacturing Project Example 2

A materials process plant in Upstate New York was looking for energy and operations cost reductions. Through a Flexible Technical Assistance study, it analyzed a savings opportunity for a large baghouse with two large fans that runs 24 hours a day seven days a week. The baghouse supports a process that runs periodically. The study identified that by adding a variable speed drive to each of the fans, the company can save 2,469,300 kWh per year.

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Data Center Project Example 1

A university conducting scientific research developed a plan to replace existing high performance computing (HPC) servers with new high efficiency models that will increase computing capacity, within the same physical data center space. The customer measures computing performance in FLOPS (Floating Operations per Second). The energy consumption of the data center remains the same, however the amount of computing work increases. By increasing the FLOPS per kWh, the university saved 5,926,077 kWh per year.

Data Center Project Example 2

A data center customer established an energy and operational cost reduction strategy. Through the Flexible Technical Assistance program, an engineering study evaluated options for cooling, disk storage upgrades, server consolidation, and server virtualization. The recommendations from the study were implemented, resulting in a demand reduction of 262 kW and annual consumption reduction of 2,131,389 kWh. 

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Technical Assistance

Q: Is an engineering study required?
A: Yes. Incentives are based on a site/process specific engineering analysis. However, NYSERDA's Technical Reviewers are available to assist with the required engineering analysis at no cost to the customer.

Q: Will NYSERDA pay for Measurement and Verification?
A: Yes. NYSERDA will use metering and other M&V tools at the Applicant's facility. In addition to the installation incentives described above, any incremental M&V costs will be performed by NYSERDA's technical reviewer at no additional cost to the applicant.

Q: Can NYSERDA help identify or determine the technical and economic feasibility of potential projects?
A: Yes. Through its Flexible Technical Assistance program, NYSERDA can help identify and determine the feasibility of potential projects. Engineering studies are performed on a cost-shared (50/50) basis using either a NYSERDA Flexible Technical Assistance Consultant or an independent service provider of your choice. A primary goal of the energy study is to develop the objective analysis required to support the approval of the project by the customer's management.

Q: Can NYSERDA help our company with continuous improvement activities?
A: Yes. Through its Flexible Technical Assistance Program, NYSERDA can support activities such as Kaizen events or Lean assessments to link energy with process improvements.

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Application Questions

Q: Is there an extensive proposal or application required?
A: No. To get started, all you need to do is fill out a Consolidated Funding Application.

Q: Do customers have to apply through a third party?
A: Industrial customers can apply to the program and receive incentives directly from NYSERDA or use a third party if desired.

Q: How long will it take to get NYSERDA approval?
A: Project approval is in the form of a purchase order issued to the Applicant by NYSERDA. Generally, the purchase order is issued as soon as a reasonably accurate estimate of the energy savings is available.

For straightforward projects, a purchase order should be issued within a few weeks of application.

For more complex projects, a site visit by NYSERDA staff and/or a NYSERDA technical reviewer may be required to develop a clear understanding of the project and to estimate energy savings. In either case, the goal is to approve projects as quickly as possible.

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