An emergency proclamation has sparked new motivation for California growers to make facility improvements.
Early last year, the California Public Utilities Commission introduced the Market Access Program (MAP), a grid reliability program that encourages energy savings, especially during summer peak demand, by replacing inefficient teams.
Multiple utilities participate in the program, including Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric. Some smaller municipalities and cooperatives also participate.
The state made $150 million available for the program. However, to participate, there are requirements.
First, MAP is different from traditional utility rebate programs that issue checks based on qualifications after technology upgrades or LED lighting. MAP focuses on power grid reliability through energy efficiency retrofits/upgrades and assesses energy savings over a 12-month period after installation.
So not only do you need pre-authorization to participate, your incentive reward is based on actual energy savings over the past year. You should also work through a licensed aggregator instead of directly with your utility company.
The reward may well be worth the extra effort and patience.
“What’s flattering is that when I compare lighting upgrade scenarios, for example, I see that the incentive award for the MAP program is 20% to 30% higher through the MAP program,” said Lee Levitt, North American Director of Utilities for Current Lighting (formerly GE Current, A Daintree Company and Hubbell Lighting).
This is because your award is disbursed over one year and is based on verified energy savings. California utilities do their energy assessments in a similar way, but they can be slightly different, since most make incentive payments every quarter, which means you can receive up to four payments.
The primary goal of the MAP program is to increase reliability on the California power grid, as well as reduce the risks of blackouts or blackouts. For growers, the challenge is that California Governor Gavin Newsom signed this program into law as an emergency proclamation. Therefore, there is a limited amount of dollars available and a small window of time to make energy-saving upgrades.
“These program dollars will be committed to working with an aggregator partner like Current with pre-approval, on a first-come, first-served basis,” Levitt added. “The projects are due to be installed by August 2023, and no one yet knows if the program will continue with new funding or end permanently.”
For now, the program is expected to run until at least September or October 2023.
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Chris Higgins CEO