Getting Green to Go Green - Saving Energy with AEP
Being able to participate in a program such as AEP’s GridSmart can be very rewarding. If you are not familiar with the program you might wonder what does a utility get out of providing grants for solutions which reduce energy consumption? The simple answer is “Power Plants and Infrastructure”. If you believe that reducing your energy consumption is in your long term best interest, AEP believes that it is in their best interest as well. They believe that if they can create incentives which can convince you or your business to reduce your overall energy load, their existing infrastructure and power generation facilities won't be over-taxed and can be operated more efficiently. The large cost associated with improving infrastructure and building new power plants can be delayed, reduced or even eliminated.
Last year M+A selected three of our smaller projects to be pilots to allow us to get to know the hurdles and difficulties associated with the Gridsmart program. The three test projects combined received almost $40,000 from the program - and that’s with only 2 out of the 3 projects actually receiving a grant. (The third project was eligible, but even though it received no funding from AEP it helped illustrate some of the hurdles that can occur with the program. For instance, even though not impossible to overcome, it helps if the company applying for the grant is also the AEP account holder).
With the successes of last year behind us, we expanded our efforts to help our clients receive grant funding from the program. As part of this effort we attended AEP’s kickoff in early February of their new expanded 2011 program and have met with them one on one to review our projects and facilitate the approval process. As a result, with only 3 months into 2011 M+A has submitted more then 10 projects for the program which are eligible for grants of more then $400,000. We are also finding that with our contacts established at AEP that they are making us aware of similar programs offered by other utilities that might be able to provide grants for our projects outside their service area. We are currently preparing our first application for DPL’s program which serves Southern and Central Ohio.
by KURT BERES
Kurt is a talented lighting designer with a flare for details. His favorite restaurant is Mad Mex, and he is a dedicated Cleveland Browns fan.