Take Control While Saving Energy and That Other Green Crop – Money!

                          by Mike Hackett, NRG Answers, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA

 (Santa Barbara, CA, July 2015)   With severe drought conditions along the Central Coast causing water  rationing, and other factors limiting farming, ranching, and processing businesses, it seems like there’s little you can do to control the costs of your operations. But here’s a suggestion or two:

Programs currently offered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company encourage agricultural customers to be proactive. You can control your utility bills by testing and improving pump efficiency and/or installing other energy saving equipment through incentives, rebates, and loans that can pay for most, if not all, of the costs of the retrofit or equipment. Sound good?

Pumping Program. Pumps used for irrigation and other activities can account for a large percentage of an agribusiness’ energy usage, especially if they don’t work properly. PG&E’s Advanced Pumping Efficiency Program (APEP) offers one solution: a low cost on-site test measures overall efficiency; then poor-performing pumps are repaired/replaced with a rebate subsidizing up to 50% of the project cost.

 On-Bill Financing. OBF is a zero interest loan between $5,000 – 100,000, available to agricultural and other non-residential customers, paid back over a maximum 5-year period through the energy savings from an approved energy efficiency project. Your energy bill is projected to remain the same. When the loan is paid off, you continue to receive the savings. Lighting, HVAC, chillers, boilers, occupancy sensors, and drip irrigation systems, are just some of many energy savings items that qualify.  So, think about older or inefficient equipment or processes in your operations that
should be replaced or upgraded. Then use OBF as your financing resource to make that happen.

Take Action! While funds are currently available for both APEP and OBF, now is the time to act. Schedule the pump test as an initial step. Then set up an energy assessment to identify cost-effective solutions you can take! Contact your PG&E account representative directly. If you don’t know your account rep, then call PG&E’s Business Customer Service Center 1-800-468-4743 and they’ll connect you.

NRG Answers, LLC is a clean/green energy sustainability, assessment, and finance consulting company. Mike Hackett can be reached: at 805.403.6450;, if you have questions or would like to follow up.


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