Wisconsin Electric, Smart Money for Business (commercial/industrial/agricultural), Profile #32


Wisconsin Electric’s (WE) Smart Money for Business encourages commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers to install energy-efficient equipment during renovations, new construction projects, retrofits, and routine equipment replacements. Through well-designed marketing campaigns and attractive incentive levels, customers are encouraged to retrofit with energy-efficient products even when they had not been planning to replace their existing equipment. Additionally, the program provides no- or low-interest loans for energy saving projects.

For the Smart Money for Business Program, lighting measures accounted for the majority of projects (about 84%), demand savings (64%), energy savings (70%), and net benefits (70%). Lighting only accounted, however, for 56% of the rebates and loans given. Air conditioning and process measures, while accounting for only 5% and 1% respectively of the projects, provided the largest remaining fraction of savings rebates and loans given and net benefits.

Smart Money for Business has been highly successful in its service area, witha participation rate of 35%. Eligible customers can participate in one of three ways. (1) The customer may make the qualifying purchase and receive an instant rebate at participating dealers. (2) In cases where customers are planning large renovations, retrofits, or new construction projects, a Wisconsin Electric sales representative generally contacts the prospective participants to inform them of the program or these customers may contact the utility and ask a sales representative for assistance and information on the efficiency options available. (3) A trade ally, such as a lighting contractor or HVAC vendor, may initiate contact with potential customers, informing them of the benefits available through Smart Money for Business as part of their own marketing process.

In 1991 Smart Money for Business achieved net demand savings of 28.4 MW and 132.9 GWh in annual energy savings. Between 1987 and 1991, the program has accumulated 670.6 GWh in annual energy savings, and 150.3 MW in annual peak capacity savings. In 1991 the Smart Money for Business program also achieved the following results: about $25 million in net benefits, more than 7,000 participants with more than 35,000 projects completed, and about $13 million in loans and rebates were processed.

Between 1987 and 1991, the program has issued $81.9 million in rebates, $11.5 million in loans for a total of $93.4 million. The cost of saved energy for the program in 1991, based on a 10-year lifetime and only incentive payment costs, ranged from 1.12 ¢/kWh to 1.49 ¢/kWh. The average incentive payment per applicant was $6,050 in 1987, peaking at $7,400 in 1988, and then dropping each year to its 1991 low of $1,700.



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