Frequently Asked Questions – Business

General FAQs for Businesses
Small Business Energy Solutions FAQs
Energy Solutions for Business FAQs
Building Tune-up FAQs
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) FAQs

General FAQs for Businesses

1. What is the contact information for the energy efficiency component of BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program® for Business?

For contact information, click here.

2. Why was the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program established?

The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program was established to provide customers with tools to reduce energy use. The Program supports the goals of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008, which strives to reduce energy demand and consumption in Maryland. Also, the program works to reduce the need for new power plants and protect the environment, while helping customers save money on energy costs.

3. How long will BGE’s program be available?

The current programs are approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission through December 31, 2017.

4. Will the programs change from year to year?

The programs were designed using a "best practices" approach from utilities across the country. However, programs are reviewed periodically and it is possible for programmatic processes or elements, including incentives, to change from year to year. BGE may change the program and the Terms & Conditions at any time without notice.

5. Who can participate in these programs?

Non-residential customers who receive electric distribution service through BGE regardless of their electric or gas supplier can partake in the Programs. Participation in the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program for Business offerings is determined by a customer's rate schedule. The rate schedule is published on each customer's monthly bill.

Before starting a project, check your bill for your rate schedule and then use the table below to determine which programs your business is eligible to participate in.

Rate Schedule

BGE Smart Energy Savers Program

G

GS

GL

P

T

Small Business Energy Solutions X X      
Energy Solutions for Business X X X X X
Building Tune-up X X X X X
Combined Heat and Power X X X X X

6. Where do the funds come from to pay for the incentives?

The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program is paid for through the Maryland Public Service Commission approved energy efficiency charges applied to customers' electric bills (EmPOWER Maryland surcharge).

7. Who is ICF and why are they involved?

ICF is an energy consulting company that was selected through a competitive bidding process by BGE to implement the energy efficiency portion of the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program. ICF has extensive experience managing similar programs throughout the country. ICF has a local office in Columbia, Maryland.

8. Will my data be kept confidential?

All customer specific information provided to BGE will be held in confidence.

9. Are incentives available to perform a fuel-switching measure?

For most BGE Smart Energy Savers Programs, fuel-switching is not permitted. However, the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program is seeking qualified projects to take part in the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Program which does permit using another fuel to reduce electric energy consumption. CHP is a clean and efficient approach to generate power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. Click here to access additional information about the CHP Program.

10. Are incentives available for using renewable energy sources?

Renewable projects, such as solar water heaters or photovoltaic installations, do not qualify under this BGE program.

11. Are incentives available for gas-consuming devices?

Currently, there are no incentives for energy savings related to gas technologies.

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Small Business Energy Solutions FAQs

1. Am I eligible to participate in the Small Business Energy Solutions Program?

The Small Business Energy Solutions Program is available to small business customers in the BGE service territory on rate schedule G or GS, who have monthly billing demands of 60 kW or less. To determine your rate schedule, look under the "Electric Details" section of your BGE bill.

2. How do I participate in this program?

For information on how to participate in the Small Business Energy Solutions program, click here.

3. Do I have to use a specific contractor, or can I find my own?

To participate in the Small Business Energy Solutions Program, customers must use the designated contractor for their geographic location.

4. What if I have a specific contractor with whom I have an established working relationship for lighting projects?

Customers who choose to use their own contractors can participate through the Energy Solutions for Business Program, however, each Program has its own specific incentive calculations for energy-efficient lighting measures. Customers using their own contractors can receive incentives for additional measures under the Energy Solutions for Business Program.

5. Does BGE guarantee the performance of the new equipment?

BGE does not guarantee or warrant the new equipment installed through this program. However, the designated contractors warrant the new equipment for 1 year from installation. If a ballast or lamp fails after the first year, the manufacturer carries a 3-year warranty, which includes an onsite replacement.

6. What portion of the project do I pay for and how do I pay for it?

BGE covers up to 70% of the total project cost, which will be paid directly to the contractor. Total project cost includes material, labor and recycling associated with eligible measures. The remaining portion of the cost (typically 30%) is to be covered by the customer. Payment terms should be worked out between the contractor and customer prior to initiating the work.

7. I was recently presented with an estimate from one of the contractors, and my portion of the bill was more than 30%, why was that?

There are certain project costs that may be charged in special circumstances that the program does not cover (e.g. relocation of fixtures or fixing wiring). These charges should be explained in the work proposal from the contractor before the project begins.

8. What equipment is eligible under this program?

  • Lighting system upgrades (such as linear fluorescents, CFLs and select LEDs)
  • Lighting controls
  • Exit sign conversion or replacement (non-LED to LED)
  • Electric water heating upgrades
  • Refrigeration controls and lighting

9. Are other energy-efficient measures such as HVAC or Commercial Plug Load upgrades part of this program?

No, though some refrigeration measures are included for incentives through the SBES Program. HVAC and Commercial Plug Load upgrades are covered in the Energy Solutions for Business Program that is open to all BGE business customers regardless of size. For more details, visit our Energy Solutions for Business page.

10. What if I am planning lighting retrofit projects at multiple locations that span across contractor territories?

Customers are required to contact the contractor that has been assigned to the geographic location of their business. If customers have multiple locations, they need to contact each assigned contractor.

11. What if I am planning lighting retrofit projects for multiple buildings on separate rate schedules, some are G/GS (fewer than 60kW) and some are GL/P (more than 60kW?)

Only buildings that fall under the G or GS rate schedules are eligible for the Small Business Energy Solutions Program. All other facilities can participate in the Energy Solutions for Business Program.

12. Why am I being charged for recycling costs? Am I able to use my own recycling contractor?

The Small Business Energy Solutions Program offers complete, turnkey service from the energy analysis to the proper and legal disposal of all removed equipment. To participate in the program, it is required that all removed lamps and ballasts are recycled through the selected recycling vendor.

13. Are the lighting controls I currently have in my business compatible with the new lighting system?

In almost all cases, the lighting controls will work with the upgraded lighting system. The designated contractor will verify the equipment as needed.

14. Is the quality of the lighting in my business going to change?

New lighting technologies are designed to provide comparable, if not greater, lighting output with less energy use and longer lasting lamps. In addition, the new lighting technologies are designed to deliver more 'natural light'.

15. Who conducts the energy analysis?

The energy analysis is conducted by the designated contractor for a customer's geographic location at no additional charge.

16. Does the program cover exterior lighting or provide incentives for exterior lighting efficiency measures?

The Small Business Energy Solutions program does provide incentives for some exterior lighting, including LED measures. Since late 2014, BGE has offered incentives for pole mounted lighting under this program.

17. Will the replacement bulbs for these new fixtures cost me more than the ones I have now?

The new lamps should last up to 5 years. However, once they have reached end-of-life, new lamps can be purchased for a price comparable to most current lamps.

18. Will the contractor remove the old materials?

The program's turnkey service includes removal and recycling of old equipment. The lighting contractor will package and remove the old equipment from your site upon completion of the project.

19. Can the work be performed at off-peak hours?

The details of the installation should be worked out with your designated lighting contractor. While the contractors operate between normal business hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, alternative arrangements may be possible. Any additional costs associated with performing work outside of normal business hours will not be covered under the program.

20. Are LED lights available?

The Small Business Energy Solutions program offers commonly used LED lighting measures including some exterior lighting. Talk with the designated contractor to find out what these measures are. Incentives for additional LED lighting measures are available through the Energy Solutions for Business Program.

21. Does the program cover broken or unused fixtures?

The focus of this program is to reduce energy consumption. Therefore, the program incentives will not fund fixtures that are currently not functioning, since the project would result in an energy increase. However, the designated contractor may fix the broken fixtures outside of the program for an additional fee paid by the customer.

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Energy Solutions for Business FAQs

Eligibility and Participation

1. Who can participate in the Energy Solutions for Business program?

The offer to participate in BGE's Energy Solutions for Business Program is open to non-residential BGE electric customers regardless of their electric supplier. Participation in the Energy Solutions for Business Program offerings is determined by a customer’s rate schedule. The rate schedule is published on each customer’s monthly bill. Before starting a project, check your bill for your rate schedule and then use the table below to determine which offering your business is eligible to participate in. Additional details on eligibility can be found in the Terms and Conditions section of BGE's Energy Solutions for Business applications.

BGE Smart Energy Savers Program®

G

GS

GL

P

T

Small Business Energy Solutions X X      
Energy Solutions for Business X X X X X
Building Tune-up X X X X X
Combined Heat and Power X X X X X

2. How do I sign up for the program?

Applications for Energy Solutions for Business can be found here.

3. Are incentives available for measures that are not explicitly covered by the Energy Solutions for Business prescriptive measures?

Electric energy-efficient equipment not included on the prescriptive application forms may be considered as a Custom measure. In general, this equipment must exceed the prescriptive requirements, not be required by Maryland energy code and not be considered standard industry practice. The proposed project or equipment must have verifiable electric energy savings and pass the program cost effectiveness criteria. Contact BGE's Smart Energy Savers Program team for questions regarding specific measures and technical assistance, if needed.

4. How do I determine what energy efficiency measures are right for my facility?

Local Service Providers can help you identify which measures are right for your facility. While you can use any vendor you choose, Service Providers listed in the directory have received training on the application process for all measures included in the Energy Solutions for Business Program.

5. Are engineering studies required for participation in the Energy Solutions for Business Program?

Engineering studies are not required for prescriptive measures; however, custom measures do require the calculation of estimated project costs and energy usage prior to submitting an application for custom measures & projects for pre-approval. Generally, a Service Provider can assist you in preparing the application. If you need more detailed engineering services, BGE has a list of pre-qualified engineering firms that can provide technical assistance. BGE will pay 50% of the engineering costs up to $20,000 when the customer hires one of these firms.

6. We are receiving a grant for the energy efficiency improvement. Does this prevent us from being considered for a BGE incentive?

No, customers are still permitted to participate within the BGE Smart Energy Savers Programs when applying for grants. However, the grant coupled with the BGE incentives cannot exceed the cost of the energy efficiency project.

7. Does Energy Solutions for Business offer free energy audits?

Energy audits are the responsibility of the customer. BGE's Energy Solutions for Business team can offer a review of products to ensure program requirements are met. Some Service Providers may offer free energy audits as part of their proposal.

8. My company has a Curtailable Service Provider that participates in PJM's Reliability Pricing Model (RPM) auction. Can I still participate in BGE's energy efficiency programs?

Customers who already have Curtailable Service Providers for capacity or energy commitments with PJM's RPM auction for Demand Response may continue these commitments and participate in BGE's programs. Since PJM considers BGE's programs to be an Energy Efficiency Resource and not a Demand Resource, the rules for having a single Demand Resource per site do not apply.

9. Can my company offer the energy and capacity benefits associated with these energy efficiency measures into PJM's Reliability Pricing Model auction?

BGE is entitled to 100% of the energy and capacity benefits that are installed as part of this program and reserves the right to commit these energy efficiency savings into PJM's energy, capacity, and reserve auctions. Therefore, customers who decide to install energy efficiency measures and offer these energy efficiency savings into the PJM auction on their own are not eligible to receive incentives from BGE for those measures. Customers should carefully review the benefits of participating in PJM's auction or receiving direct incentives from BGE's energy efficiency programs.

10. Am I required to use a specific contractor to participate in the program?

You are not required to use a specific contractor to install energy-efficient equipment at your facility. Customers are free to select their own contractors or use in-house staff; however, any party submitting an application other than the BGE customer and/or installing measures applied for on Energy Solutions for Business applications must submit and be approved as an Energy Solutions for Business Service Provider. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the application.

Prior to submitting new Prescriptive or Custom applications, all Service Providers are required to submit a Service Provider application and wait for approval. If you have not yet submitted an application, please review the requirements to become a participating Service Provider before submitting the Service Provider application online.

11. Is BGE offering any type of commercial financing for customers who are unable to pay their portion of the costs of acceptable measures?

BGE does not offer commercial financing for customers under the Energy Solutions for Business Program. However, customers with qualifying Small Business Energy Solutions projects are eligible to pay the 20% cost contribution over 12 monthly payments on their BGE bill through our no-interest Small Business Energy Advance.

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Forms and Applications

1. What happens if the final project changes from what was pre-approved by BGE?

If the scope of work changes or the equipment specifications change, you must notify BGE's Energy Solutions for Business team immediately. They will review your application to determine whether the revised project is eligible for an incentive and evaluate the amount of the incentive. If the revised potential incentive is greater than the original amount, BGE's Smart Energy Savers Program team will determine if there are funds available to increase your incentive amount. BGE reserves the right to deny payment to any application that may result in BGE exceeding its program budget, regardless if a pre-approval was given. BGE also reserves the right, for any reasons, to stop pre-approving energy-savings measures at any time without notice. Incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to project and Customer eligibility, availability of funds and distribution of incentives across the BGE Customer base.

2. If I submit an application and I receive a pre-approval letter, am I obligated to go through with the work?

You are not obligated to go through with the work. Once the funds associated with your project are approved, you have 6 months to complete retrofit installations and 1 year to complete new construction installations. If you start a project and decide to complete only a portion of the work, you will only be paid for the completed portion. If you know that you are not going to complete a project or are only completing a portion of it, please contact the BGE's Smart Energy Savers Program team so that we can redistribute funding appropriately.

3. If equipment does not meet the prescriptive eligibility criteria, can it be submitted under the Custom track?

No. If equipment that is covered by prescriptive rebates does not meet the eligibility criteria as defined in the prescriptive applications, it cannot be considered for Custom Measures & Projects.

4. Does the program offer incentives for exterior lighting efficiency measures?

Yes; however, due to heavy program participation in 2015, the prescriptive incentive budget has been depleted and prescriptive applications are no longer being accepted. The Energy Solutions for Business Retrofit Lighting Application and Custom Measures & Projects Application allow business customers of any size to submit applications for exterior lighting projects.

5. Do I have to select a contractor before submitting an application?

You do not have to select a contractor before submitting an application as long as the equipment for the projects meets the eligibility requirements. However, because of the 6-month window for retrofit project completion and 1-year window for new construction completion, it is strongly recommended that customers have a contractor selected before an application is submitted. BGE will not accept multiple applications from more than one contractor for the same customer project.

Any party submitting an application other than the BGE customer and/or installing measures applied for on Energy Solutions for Business applications must submit and be approved as an Energy Solutions for Business Service Provider. Failure to do so will result in cancellation of the application.

6. How will I know the status of my application?

The party that submitted the application can log into the Application Center at any time to view the status of the application. Customers and Service Providers/Contractors may also contact the BGE's Smart Energy Savers Program team with additional questions about the process or status of an application.

7. When should I sign the application form?

Depending on the application type, the customer (BGE account holder) will either have to sign the application or a separate Terms and Conditions document. If pre-approval was required for the project, the customer will have to sign and return the pre-approval letter at the time of project completion. Please use the chart to determine the appropriate action.

 

Pre-Approval Required

Retrofit Lighting

New Construction Performance Based Lighting

Commercial Kitchen, Refrigeration, Appliance and Plug Load Equipment

Custom Measures & Projects

Large Building Tune-up Services

Small Building Tune-up Services

Enhanced HVAC Maintenance Services

Application Submitted by Customer: Customer needs to check the "I agree" box when the Terms and Conditions appear onscreen during the submission process. When the project installation is complete, the customer must sign and return the pre-approval letter.

Application Submitted by Service Provider: Customer needs to sign the appropriate Terms & Conditions and Customer Acknowledgment when the application is submitted. When the project installation is complete, the customer must sign and return the pre-approval letter.

Multifamily

Customer needs to sign the appropriate box on the application at the time of submission. When the project installation is complete, the customer must sign and return the pre-approval letter.

Comprehensive New Construction

Customer needs to sign the application at the time of submission. When the project installation is complete, the customer must sign and return the pre-approval letter.

Technical Services

Customer needs to sign the application at the time of submission.

Energy Solutions for Business Service Provider

Building Tune-up Service Provider

Applicant needs to sign the application at the time of submission.

8. Who can submit applications?

Non-residential BGE customers and the Service Providers/Contractors representing those customers can submit applications. The project must be for a building that has electric service from BGE and is located within BGE's service territory. Details on eligibility criteria are in the Terms and Conditions section of applications for all measures.

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Incentives

1. Can I receive an incentive for used or refurbished equipment?

No. BGE does not accept used or refurbished material under this program. Nor does BGE allow equipment that is removed to be re-installed within the BGE service territory.

2. Is there a maximum amount of money that I can receive?

Total incentive limits per Corporate Tax ID per year for all incentives (Prescriptive and Custom) are limited to $1,000,000. In addition, BGE reserves the right to deny any application that may result in BGE exceeding its program budget. Incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to project and customer eligibility requirements, availability of funds and distribution of incentives across BGE's customer base.

3. Can I receive the incentive in the form of a bill credit?

No. After the final paperwork is submitted and after any required post-inspections, the incentive will come in the form of a check approximately 6 to 8 weeks after BGE completes the final technical review.

4. Can I receive incentives for projects where the equipment has already been purchased?

No, equipment can only be purchased after the project is pre-approved. 

5. Once I receive an incentive, do I have any further obligation with the Energy Solutions for Business Program?

Once a project is complete and payment is made, BGE and the Public Service Commission require that a subset of random projects be evaluated. This is to verify that sales transactions and equipment installations remain in accordance to the plans that were approved and upon which incentives were paid. BGE may contact you to visit your site to perform this verification. All measures must be installed and working at the time of inspection, and BGE welcomes feedback.

6. If my project involves a prescriptive measure, do I have a choice whether to apply using a prescriptive or custom application?

If your project involves equipment or technology specified in a prescriptive measure, that project is not eligible to be submitted as a Custom project. If a project involves both prescriptive and custom measures, the customer may be able to combine integrated measures into a single custom application. If you believe this might apply to your project, please contact the BGE's Smart Energy Savers Program team to discuss it before submitting an application.

7. How are Custom incentives determined?

Custom incentives are based on the cost of installing the high-efficiency measures and the resulting energy and demand savings. In all cases, the high efficiency measure must be cost effective. For retrofit measures where the efficiency of existing equipment or systems is being improved, the incentive is up to 50% of the installed cost of the high-efficiency measure. For new construction or the purchase of new or replacement equipment, the incentive is up to 75% of the cost of the high-efficiency equipment over the standard efficiency equipment. In all cases, if the BGE incentive results in a customer simple payback of less than 1.5 years, the incentive will be reduced to an amount that will result in a 1.5-year payback.

8. How does the program determine baselines for Custom measures?

Project baselines are based on currently applicable energy codes and/or conservative estimates of industry standards. BGE requires that an application be submitted to provide the best opportunity to establish an accurate baseline. In order to perform the necessary energy calculations for a custom project, you must first propose the starting point or baseline from which to compare energy consumption. The custom matrix on pages 3-4 of the Custom Technical Sheet provides useful information for determining a project’s baseline based on its project type.

9. Are incentives available for LED lighting?

Yes, incentives for common LED lighting measures are available through the Energy Solutions for Business Retrofit Lighting Application. Measure information, technical and pre-approval requirements can be found on the Retrofit Lighting Technical Sheet. Other LED measures not included on the Retrofit Lighting Technical Sheet may be considered under the Custom application.

10. Are there any specific technical requirements associated with LED lighting?

Yes, all LED replacement lamps and LED luminaires must meet the guidelines listed on the DLC or ENERGY STAR Qualified Products List.

11. Are incentives available for energy-efficient motors?

BGE no longer offers incentives for common prescriptive motors. This is due to the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) that became effective on December 19, 2010.

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Service Providers

1. Is there a list of qualified Service Providers?

Click here for a list of Service Providers who have submitted an application, participated in a Service Provider training seminar and undergone reference checks. BGE does not recommend, qualify, or otherwise approve these contractors for participation. BGE does not warrant or guarantee any work or equipment installed by a Service Provider.

If you are a Service Provider and would like to participate in one of the training seminars, email business@BGESmartEnergy.com.

2. Where can Service Providers learn more about the program?

Information on how to get involved in the Service Provider program and get your business listed in the Service Provider directory can be found on the Service Providers web page. Once you join, you become part of the Service Provider mailing list through which you will receive regular updates on the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program. BGE also offers periodic seminars on how best to use the program to help your customers.

3. Who receives the rebate check, the customer or the contractor?

The customer has the option to assign payment to the contractor or another third party. BGE requires the customer's signature approving payment in either case.

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Building Tune-up FAQs

1. What is the difference between the Building Tune-up Program and Energy Solutions for Business?

Energy Solutions for Business typically involves a capital investment in energy-efficient equipment. Building Tune-up focuses on optimizing the operation and maintenance of existing equipment.

2. Why are there three "types" of Building Tune-up services?

Since different opportunities exist for improving building performance based on building size and typical systems, BGE offers three options—Enhanced Unitary HVAC Maintenance, Small Building Tune-up Services and Large Building Tune-up Services—to meet varying customer needs.

3. What incentives are available for Enhanced Unitary HVAC Maintenance Services?

BGE's Enhanced Unitary HVAC Maintenance Services can tune up your facility's Unitary HVAC system while ensuring its energy-consuming components function at peak efficiency.

For a list of measures and incentives, please go here.

4. What are the basics of the Small Building Tune-up Services?

Small Building Tune-up Services are available for industrial process systems and commercial facilities that are less than or equal to 75,000 square feet. The process typically involves contractors assessing equipment/system conditions from a prescribed checklist of items. Small Building Tune-up Services focus on:

  • Calibrating building systems and controls
  • Replacing equipment filters
  • Cleaning evaporator and condenser coils
  • Sealing air and water leaks
  • Re-balancing air handling systems
  • Detecting compressed air leaks
  • Educating facility personnel

5. What incentives are available for Small Building Tune-up Services?

BGE will provide incentives for up to 75% of the cost of the assessment and study with a maximum incentive of $3,000. (BGE estimates the cost of an appropriate study for Small Building Tune-up Services to be between $500 and $4,000, depending upon the complexity of the facility.)

BGE also will pay part of the costs for demonstration measures (i.e., measures that can save a significant amount of energy, but will not pay for themselves in less than 1.5 years) with a cap on BGE's total project commitment of $15,000.

6. Who can perform Small Building Tune-up services?

Customers are not required to use a specific contractor to perform Small Building Tune-up Services. Customers are free to select their own contractors or use in-house staff. If you choose to use in-house staff please leave the contractor information blank on your application form. Customers may also refer to the following Service Provider directories:

Building Tune-up Service Provider Directory

Energy Solutions for Business Service Provider Directory

BGE does not recommend, qualify, or otherwise approve these contractors for participation. BGE does not warrant or guarantee any work or equipment installed by a Service Provider.

7. What are the basics of Large Building Tune-up Services?

Large Building Tune-up Services are available for facilities larger than 75,000 square feet and are more comprehensive than Small Building Tune-up Services. Large Building Tune-up Services are intended for customers with unusually high energy use, persistent failures of equipment and controls, tenant complaints, or indoor air quality problems. The process involves a detailed study conducted by a pre-qualified Service Provider who develops and carries out (or directs others to carry out) customized system and operational changes to reduce energy consumption. Large Building Tune-up Services typically include:

  • HVAC calibrations
  • Diagnostic and function tests of major systems and equipment
  • Air and water systems balancing
  • Calibration of energy management and control systems and lighting systems controls
  • O&M tune-ups
  • Education of facility personnel

8. What incentives are available for Large Building Tune-up Services?

BGE will provide incentives up to 75% of the cost of the Large Building Tune-up study and implementation costs, up to a maximum incentive of $30,000. However, the incentive is contingent upon the customer making a commitment to implement cost-effective measures which are identified in the study (i.e., measures that will pay for themselves in 1.5 years or less).

9. Are there minimum requirements to be a candidate for Large Building Tune-up Services?

Yes. The facility must have a functioning direct digital control (DDC) system; accessible and up-to-date building documentation and records; no major maintenance problems requiring costly repairs or replacements; and no planned major system renovations or retrofits. The facility also must commit facility staff to be actively involved in the entire Large Building Tune-up process.

10. Who can perform Large Building Tune-up services?

To assist customers in performing Large Building Tune-up Services, BGE has a group of participating Large Building Tune-up Service Providers listed on the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program website. If a customer wishes to use a Service Provider that has not been pre-approved, the Service Provider must first apply to participate in the Large Building Tune-up Services offering. BGE does not warrant or guarantee any work or equipment installed by a Service Provider.

11. What is the value of having a contractor assess how a building's systems operate?

Many customers have energy-efficient equipment but their buildings are still not operating efficiently. By participating in the Building Tune-up program, customers will maximize the operating efficiency of their buildings and reduce their energy consumption.

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Combined Heat and Power (CHP) FAQs

1. What is CHP?

CHP stands for "combined heat and power". It is the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heat.

2. Why is BGE offering this program?

The customer incentives offered by the BGE CHP Program are intended to enhance the economic viability for Commercial and Industrial (C&I) customers to employ CHP to reduce their energy (kWh) consumption as part of the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program.

3. What is the maximum incentive a project could receive?

Design and installation incentives total $350/kW for projects under 250 kW and $250/kW for 250kW systems and greater. Subsequent to commissioning of the system a production incentive of $0.07/kWh will be disbursed. Both components of the total incentive (Design + Installation AND Production) are capped at $1.25 million each, such that the maximum incentive any one project could receive is $2.5 million.

4. Will BGE allow CHP projects to export power to the grid?

No. BGE will not allow any type of export to BGE's distribution system under the Combined Heat and Power Program.

5. Can a CHP project be located at one building, Building A, and export excess electricity to another building, Building B?

As stated in the CHP RFP "To be eligible for the BGE EmPOWER incentives, energy produced by the CHP projects must be fully used on site. Projects will be ineligible if there is any export from the site including into PJM or if any energy is used to supply another customer's facility or multiple facilities owned by the CHP customer unless the facilities are all part of a campus site or a master metered account." This prohibition includes providing electricity to another BGE customer or to a building that crosses roads, public lands or another customer's property.

6. What documents are needed for a proposal to be complete?

The CHP Application, CHP feasibility study, and Total Resource Cost (TRC) test need to be submitted for an application to be considered for review. Requirements for the CHP feasibility study are outlined in the CHP Program Manual. Links to download the CHP Application, CHP Program Manual, and the TRC Calculator can be found on the CHP website.

7. What elements need to be included in the CHP Feasibility Study?

The study must be in report format and should include the site and project description, project financials, system warranty details, interconnection, permitting and metering plan, project team experience and the anticipated schedule of key project related activities. Please refer to the RFP for detailed CHP feasibility study requirements.

8. Can a Technical Services Provider (TSP) do the technical analysis and implementation of a project?

A TSP is not allowed to implement a project for which the TSP performed the technical analysis through the BGE Technical Services Program option.

9. Are there any size limits for these projects (i.e. the size of the generation unit)?

No, but projects larger than 10MW may require a longer, more complex permitting process.

10. Once a project has been qualified for BGE incentives, what entities must the customer contact for permitting, etc.?

The customer is responsible for obtaining and paying for all necessary permits for their CHP project. They should work closely with their engineering team to obtain the requisite permits. Once the customer receives a Pre-Approval Letter from BGE for incentives, they should first contact BGE regarding interconnection as detailed in the CHP Program Manual.

11. Once a CHP project that receives incentives under this program is operational, can the associated facility use the CHP system as an "emergency" power source if the local BGE distribution system goes down?

That is up to the customer. This is a detail that must to be worked out with BGE during the completion of the Interconnection Application.

12. What is the basis of the efficiency calculation?

It is expected for projects to have an efficiency of at least 65% Higher Heating Value (HHV) for consideration into the program. The efficiency should be calculated using the following equation:

CHP Efficiency (%) = (Annual Electricity production (Btu) + Annual Waste Heat Captured (Btu))/Annual CHP Fuel Consumption (Btu) 

13. Can a CHP project be designed around a fuel cell?

Yes, but the fuel cell system needs to meet program requirements.

14. Would BGE consider providing incentives for a project where a steam turbine could be used to capture otherwise wasted steam to turn a generator providing electricity on site?

BGE would consider such a proposal. The customer should be prepared to explain why the steam was previously being rejected (i.e. not being used on site) and show what sort of fuel consumption is attributable to the steam that is to be harnessed.

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