School District Saves Money and Energy with VFD Rebates

By Tyler Simmons on 25th May 2023

Public School District Uses Utility Rebates to Save Money and Energy on VFD Retrofits

Keeping more than 70 schools full of students cool in the summer and warm in the winter is a big task. Not only does it take electricity, but it requires the maintenance team to be on top of the equipment needs.

One local public school district realized they use a lot of electricity every year in their HVAC systems, especially with aging electrical systems. 

Like many school districts, the school buildings are diverse, with many aging and needing updates. Variable frequency drives are often part of the HVAC electrical system to help control fan speeds. 

VFDs help to control airflow and save energy through the affinity laws associated with fans. They help to save energy while making sure fans run fast enough to meet the needs of the building. 

This means that keeping working VFDs in the schools helps the air to keep flowing and the schools to stay comfortable. 

Utility rebates encourage efficiency

Some systems in the school district don’t have VFDs, while others have older VFD technologies that are becoming obsolete. Most low voltage VFDs have an expected lifetime of about 10 years, which means that they’ll have to be replaced during the lifetime of a school building. 

As these VFDs need to be added or replaced, the school district looked to us to help fit it in their budget. 

The local electrical utility has an interest in keeping demand controlled. They want to be able to serve as many customers as possible with their existing infrastructure, so they try to incentivize saving energy. In order to do this, they offer rebates for equipment that can increase energy efficiency. 

These rebates will typically cover 50% of the cost of a new variable frequency drive, although at times they cover as much as 75%. 

The utility that services this school district also allows a contractor to file for the rebate on behalf of the end user. This opens exciting opportunities for the school district to fit more upgrades into the same budget.

We make it easy for the district

Our team keeps an eye on the utility rebates and the processes to apply. With a team of technicians able to install and commission new VFDs, there was an opportunity to help the school district take care of several issues at once. 

We sold them new VFDs that would help to increase efficiency and save the school district money on their electrical bill. We also did the installation and commissioning so that they knew everything was set up to work right. 

While we sold the VFDs, we gave the utility rebate to the school district up front. We applied for the rebate on the back end to reimburse ourselves for the discount we already gave the customer.

This meant that the school district only had to pay about half as much for each VFD, meaning they could do more upgrades for the same operations budget. 

In the end, the math worked out that every other VFD was basically free, with no hassle for the customer to apply for rebates on the back end. 

Drives on HVAC systems are typically smaller, most being 25 horsepower or less. Despite that, the school district saved over $30,000 on the purchase and installation of VFD retrofits over the past year. That number doesn’t include the amount of saved energy or reduction in costs associated with unexpected failures on older equipment. 

Most importantly, these upgrades meant that the school district had HVAC systems that were safe, reliable, and energy efficient. Because of the partnership between the utility, the school district, and us, thousands of students had a better environment to learn.

Let us help you with your vfd rebate

Although every electrical utility is different, most want to encourage you to be efficient with rebates on VFD installations. Whether adding a VFD where it’s never been, replacing an old VFD, or evaluating a new system entirely, there is likely a utility rebate in your area. 

Our team has years of experience working through VFD rebates on customer installations. Reach out and let us help you find out whether you can reduce costs, increase efficiency, and have a safer, more reliable electrical system. 

Need help with your VFD rebate?

Not only can we get you the right VFD for you electrical system but our experts can help you finalize and recieve your VFD rebate.