Going Beyond Lighting

When Rebate Bus was founded, we had the intention of being the go-to source for utility incentives on LED lighting upgrades. Now that our data is up to date in all 50 states and Canada, however, we’ve been thinking about where else utilities can get energy savings, and how the market is currently engaging with these opportunities. Energy Star runs dozens of Qualified Products Lists for some of these other categories, along with a database — https://www.energystar.gov/rebate-finder — where utilities can promote incentive offers on these non-lighting product types, such as:

  • Commercial Kitchen Incentives for Energy Star Commercial Fridges, Fryers, Steam Cookers, Ovens and more
  • Residential Appliance Incentives, such as Clothes Dryers (which account for about 12% of residential energy use http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/dryers.html#) and Dishwashers
  • Heating and Cooling equipment, such as heat pumps and efficient air conditioners

This tool, unfortunately, is both far from comprehensive and frequently out of date. It has a number of CFL incentives dating back to 2011, and only a select number of utilities participate. Furthermore, the tool doesn’t appear to have been updated in terms of interface or features for some time. Finally, there is no way for retail sites to interact with the Rebate Finder at an API level! Clearly it would be beneficial to the market if we could bring the power and transparency of Rebate Bus to these types of product.

Adding Energy Star categories to the QPL Import Tool

This support is coming soon! We’ve added data models and QPL Import tools to bring us up to a total of 11 Energy Star QPLs supported, and all the others are implemented in the backend data model.

Now, we are cataloging our known utilities and performing much the same process of data analysis which we’ve already done for lighting. This means that we’re adding new types of payment unit — such as an amount contingent on oven type, fryer volume, and other units.

This analysis is being done hand-in-hand with Focus on Energy now that we’ve created a partnership with them to serve their website with our data. The Rebate Bus interface allows a utility who signs on with us to manage their own Qualified Products List inside the system, and all Focus’ programs will soon be managed by them directly and powered through our API on focusonenergy.com. Luckily, Focus has incentives on a wide variety of products, from Milking Equipment to ECM Motors.

We’ll keep you updated as these changes are rolled out! It is our hope that we’ll be able to make an instant incentive offer on a non-lighting product some time in 2017.

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