Compressed Air Program Design Delivers Big Savings

Eric Braddock

I recently hosted a webinar with Sam Zimmerman, Senior Program Manager at PG&E. The webinar entitled, New Compressed Air Program Design Delivers Big Savings, focused on the benefits of having a dedicated compressed air program. The webinar also reviewed Ecova’s lessons learned from its early stages of the program to its current successful model.

Ecova is a third-party implementer for PG&E’s compressed air program that serves its industrial customers. The program provides multiple benefits to PG&E’s customers including analyzing equipment and systems, recommending improvements, and implementing upgrades. For PG&E customers, an energy efficient compressed air project can pay for itself fairly quickly with dedicated incentive dollars―current incentives are at a rate of $0.08 per kWh plus $100 per kW.

During the webinar, I discussed some of the positive changes that were made to the program since its initial launch in 2007. These changes included integrating energy efficiency measures that focused on reducing system demand, building a robust trade ally network consisting of major distributors and manufacturers of compressed air equipment, and fine-tuning the incentive aspect of the program. Since implementing these changes in 2008, Ecova has had continued success delivering savings for PG&E’s compressed air program.

One of the main questions asked during the webinar was about the market potential for compressed air programs. When determining the market potential for compressed air opportunity, Ecova has the benefit of looking at the historical results of the PG&E program over the last six years. The average project size and number of projects completed per year have remained the same over the past four years, indicating the market has not changed significantly. Ecova works very closely with its vendor partners to gauge the future trend, and the message so far received is that 2015 could have as much or more opportunity than 2014.

If you would like more information about the PG&E’s compressed air program, you can watch the recorded webinar here. Please contact us with any questions about compressed air programs or if you are interested in implementing a program.

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