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NYSERDA’s RTEM and how it helps

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers business owners major incentives to adopt technologies that streamline their energy management capabilities.

Real time energy management (RTEM) systems, monitor circuit-level energy consumption patterns, locating major sources of energy consumption and identifying anomalies before they evolve into operational liabilities.

One might wonder why such systems that conserve resources and enhance asset functionality wouldn’t already be universally adopted. The answer is simple: upfront costs. Many decision makers are forced – either by frugal management or short-term budgetary restrictions – to forego investments that would serve their long-term interests, both operationally and economically, due to burdensome upfront costs.

To ease this burden, NYSERDA offers New York customers a 30% cost-share in deploying RTEM solutions from NYSERDA-approved vendors. This level of funding increases accessibility to the benefits offered by RTEM, including optimized energy management and a panoramic view of your operations. NYSERDA’s Mission NYSERDA’s purpose is to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy resources throughout New York. The ultimate goal of the authority is to facilitate a transition to energy habits that reduce greenhouse gases, improve economic outlooks, and result in lower energy spend.

Attracting more capital investment

NYSERDA works with entrepreneurs, universities, investors and other community stakeholders to attract capital investment from the private sector that it uses to expand New York’s clean energy economy, promote future-forward energy policy and practices, and pass on the benefits of energy efficiency and renewables to the New York public.

To those ends, NYSERDA has created the Commercial Real Time Energy Management program (RTEM program for short), which provides qualified building owners with access to capital for approved, energy-smart infrastructure projects.

In addition to covering 30% of upfront costs for implementation, NYSERDA commits to sharing in the costs for the first 5 years of the system’s maintenance. This sort of assistance is essential to empowering companies to pursue a course of action in line with their long-term self-interests regardless of their financial (in)flexibility in the short-term.

Benefits of a RTEM system

Implementing a RTEM system isn’t just a win for the environment, it also has a major positive impact on any business’s bottom line. Through a reduction in waste, optimised energy usage and better insights into total operations, enterprises are empowered to make better business decisions.

For example, running HVAC equipment more efficiently can reduce heating and cooling costs by nearly 80%. That sort of power amplified across your entire operation means that doing the same work better with less energy and less money isn’t just possible, it’s accessible. Then there’s the benefit of additional oversight. By combining information technology with analytics, immense amounts of contextualized data down to the circuit-level are made available to decision makers.

RTEM systems do more than just manage energy consumption, they provide a window into the most minute details of your operation so that you can optimise the process and prevent device failures before they happen. These systems work primarily through the installation of sensors and data analytics – even on old “dumb” devices – which monitor and relay granular data about energy consumption patterns. This data can be contextualized by machine learning algorithms to provide recommendations to decision-makers that help them better fine tune operations to increase efficiency across the board.

In this way, the granular data is easily applied to a complete organizational perspective to improve overall operations. Smart energy management systems also allow building managers to identify faulty or aging equipment prior to critical failures, engage in predictive or prescriptive maintenance and take action to upgrade and replace aging equipment before a failure impacts productivity.

How NYSERDA funding works

As mentioned above, the NYSERDA RTEM program helps support implementation and post-installation maintenance costs for a period of 5 years by picking up a significant portion of the expenditure.

Eligible business and property owners who invest in RTEM systems can receive up to $75,000 per year for system installation and up to $20,000 per year for maintenance (provided that those payments do not exceed 30% of the technology's total costs).

NYSERDA offers two types of financial support, depending on the pricing models of the RTEM vendors:

  1. When customers pay upfront costs of installation, NYSERDA offers up to 75,000 toward the installation, plus assistance with system maintenance payments for the first 5 years.
  2. When the cost of RTEM installation is embedded in the service costs, NYSERDA offers larger system maintenance payments for the first 5 years of service, thereby helping customers with the cost of the system as well.

To qualify, building owners must engage a NYSERDA-approved vendor and post-installation service provider such as Centrica's energy insights solution, Panoramic Power (listed as Direct Energy).  RTEM Program Eligibility & Rollout Sites eligible for NYSERDA funding include office buildings, retail locations, colleges and universities, healthcare facilities, state and local governments, non-profits, private institutions and public schools.

To receive funding, new facilities or those with significant renovations must be occupied for more than one year. Rollout is capped at 10 sites per customer and those customers cannot be active recipients of additional state financial assistance, except for NYPA or NY Green Bank funding. Additionally, the facilities must be located in New York State and must be customers of a participating utility company. The application process lasts from 4 to 8 weeks, and installation cannot begin prior to formal NYSERDA approval.

With a user-friendly RTEM provider, the process is practically frictionless and follows these steps:

  1. RTEM user provides single-line electrical diagram
  2. RTEM vendor provides project proposal including estimated project cost
  3. User approves proposal and submits required documentation to vendor
  4. Vendor submits initial application to NYSERDA for pre-approval
  5. NYSERDA provides initial approval and incentive amount
  6. User approves and executes contracts
  7. Vendor completes final submission & starts scoping process
  8. Vendor schedules pre-installation meeting at user site
  9. Installation at site completed
  10. NYSERDA completes post-installation inspection
  11. Cost share payments begin flowing per the stated incentive amount and pricing model

Continued support

Funding Going through the RTEM program application process can seem daunting, but with the right RTEM partner it's a cinch. Working with NYSERDA and the RTEM user to help with programme application and roll out at every step – from project scoping to application submission to the installation of the system itself.

The partnership continues with ongoing support and report generation, working closely with managers, putting them in position to understand and act on all their newfound information. Real Time Energy Monitoring systems aren’t just for the largest or most energy-intensive companies out there. Any size operation can benefit from the insights provided by such a system, and programs such as NYSERDA are designed to help.

The programme is open until June 2021 or until the $30 million in funding runs out.

To apply for NYSERDA, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov.