Green Mountain Power launched its Small Commercial and Industrial Retrofit Program at an opportune time, just after an ice dam on the Winooski River caused the river to spill over its banks in the state capitol of Montpelier, flooding the town and causing severe hardship for small business owners. GMP’s door-to-door campaign promoting the Small C/I Retrofit program was most welcome, and the program quickly had its first 65 participants. By the end of 1992 the program had exceeded its participation goal for the year of 500 customers.
The Small C&I Retrofit program is available to any non-residential, non-agricultural GMP customer having an average monthly electrical energy use of more than 300 kWh, but less than 12,500 kWh during the winter season. (Note that GMP’s eligibility criteria is quite different than the criteria used by New England Electric System, Profile #1, and Boston Edison, Profile #31.) GMP provides eligible customers with a free walk-through survey of their facilities. After the survey, the customer is provided with a written list of recommended energy-efficiency measures. Typically, customers elect to have all recommended "base measures" installed as the entire cost is covered by GMP. Base package measures include lighting upgrades, lighting controls, HVAC controls, electrically-heated domestic water tank and pipe insulation, and water conservation hardware.
Site specific energy conservation measures (what GMP calls "custom package" measures) meeting a set of screening criteria are also available to small C&I customers. In this track of the program, GMP "buys down" the customer’s cost for custom measures to a one-year payback. (See New York Power Authority’s High Efficiency Lighting Program, Profile #17, for another example of a customer payback buydown.)
In 1992 the Small C&I Retrofit program accounted for 3,982 MWh in annual energy savings and 0.826 MW in coincident peak capacity savings. All of these savings can be attributed solely to lighting measures (3,881 MWh and 0.803 MW) and insulation of hot water tanks (102 MWh and 0.023 MW).
Costs for the Small C&I Retrofit program have totalled $1,267,900 to date. In 1992 the cost per participant for the program was $2,184. Because only base measure packages have been installed so far, there are currently no customer contribution costs for the program.
The Small C&I Retrofit program achieved an impressive participation rate of 8% during its first year especially when one considers that the program was only available to the public starting in May 1992. The program also greatly exceeded its first year projected energy and capacity savings. Thus the key lesson learned is that well-designed, well-implemented programs can have marked success from their start!
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