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Energy Efficiency

Utility Energy Efficiency Programs

It’s not a free lunch. But you’re already paying for it.

Your utility is trying to help you save energy. Really.


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The gimmicks and scammers have turned us all into seasoned skeptics. Unfortunately, when it comes to lowering your energy bill, you may be passing over opportunities to have your utility provide services, new equipment, cash payments and interest free financing options for changes to your facilities or operations that will lower your energy consumption and reduce your bill. 

So, what’s the catch? There isn’t one.  

Utilities and local clean energy providers or community choice aggregators (CCA) are working hard to meet the demand of increased energy usage, while keeping rates as low as possible. For this, they need customers to use less energy. That is easier said than done. For many industrial and commercial customers, the only path they see to save energy without sacrificing production is filled with barriers to success.  

That’s why for each one of these barriers, utilities have come up with programs to help their customers. Here are some examples: 



You’ve seen it—the hefty price tag attached to upgrading equipment. New, more efficient equipment is expensive, and the financial equations just don’t provide the right rate of returns based on the savings from lower energy bills alone.  

For this reason, this equipment is often eligible for utility incentive payments. Sometimes this is in the form of rebates, other times it can be in the form of payments from the utility to their customers for each kWh of energy saved.   



There is so much information out there, it can be hard to find the program that will actually work for you. Industrial and commercial customers are all unique, and have different constraints, it can seem like nothing fits. Utilities often hire companies to help their customers find the right tools to save energy. Cascade Energy is one such company, whose services are paid for by utility companies to help their customers save energy. We have developed expertise in virtually all energy-using subsystems encountered in the industrial and agricultural sectors. Our managers, engineers, analysts, and technicians understand these systems and know the right questions to ask to uncover, analyze, and implement energy-saving opportunities. 



Change can be a tough nut to crack, especially when it comes to energy efficiency. There are utility programs designed to help you strategize, get your team on board, provide training, and show you the numbers that prove it’s worth it. This can help you make the case internally. If that weren’t enough, there are also financing options that can improve these figures even further, changing the cost of capital and putting a smile on your CFO. These programs will also help ensure that operational changes you make have a lasting impact and persistent savings. 



Running short on staff to oversee and manage a capital or operational project can be a serious barrier.  When you are in business to produce, extra staff isn’t just sitting around. Some utilities have programs to provide project management support, or financial support to help you pay for staff you will be allocating to these projects. One such example is BPA’s Energy Project Manager offering.  

Through this type of program, the utility and their partners can help bridge the staffing gap and ensure that your energy-saving goals and strategies are effectively implemented. 



Utility energy efficiency programs have evolved to help reduce the barriers to energy savings. They have also evolved to help you meet sustainability and emissions reduction goals. These programs can reduce your expenses, reduce your carbon footprint, increase your profitability and help your company thrive.  

It’s not a free ride, but you are already paying for it. 


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