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Energy Programs Power - Sustainability and Savings

Sustainability remains a key area for facility managers. Finding ways to reduce a building’s and a company’s carbon footprint haven’t taken a back seat even during these challenging times. And if there is a way to accomplish this while reducing costs, even better. Ameren Missouri and Renew Solar STL offer the best of both worlds with some innovative energy incentive programs.

Members learned more about the programs during a webinar on Wednesday, July 15.

Andrew Linhares, St. Louis Regional Director and Senior Counsel, and Tori Cheatham, St. Louis Policy and Outreach Coordinator, with Renew Missouri outlined the benefits of Renew Solar STL. The first such program in the Midwest, Renew Solar provides incentives for pooling together projects to lessen installation costs and savings on bulk purchases of equipment.

Additionally, the program offers flexible financing options, simplifies solar installation by partnering with StraightUp Solar, an established company in the solar field, and helps companies achieve and track their sustainability goals.

Investing in solar can be an effective strategy to lower building operating costs, Linhares noted. Financing can allow building owners to create short-term revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Available utility rebates and Federal tax incentives further support building owners in achieving a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) that is less than their current utility bill for the life of their solar system (typically 25-plus years).

The Renew STL Solar program offers a streamlined process of pricing, designing and installing solar, while StraightUp and Renew Missouri work out the details for the customer. This includes navigating the myriad options and decision points involved in going solar, without having to become experts and gathering multiple bids.

Patrick Justis manager of Ameren’s Efficient Electrification Development Group discussed the benefits of electric vehicles and details to apply for incentives for charging stations.

Electric vehicles (EV) are coming to the forefront. The electric-powered vehicles are more environmentally friendly, reducing carbon emissions, require less maintenance, lower refueling costs at about $1 per gallon compared to gas vehicles, and are quiet and responsive, Justis noted. Off-peak charging also allows for efficiently using the power grid, he added.

Of course, charging stations need to be more readily available. Ameren Missouri will pay up to 50 percent of the cost for installing electric vehicle charging stations at workplaces, multifamily apartment buildings, retail and other locations.