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Building Manager Green Tip

March 2011

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Support your green building projects with utility incentives


NSTAR utility incentives have saved Harvard University over $4.8 million and supported efficiency measures that are expected to reduce campus-wide consumption by over 35 million kWh through October 2010. When combined with the Green Loan Fund, utility incentives can turn unattainable projects into prudent investments.

A simple three-step process


Most incentive applications follow a three-step process: pre-approval, implementation, and verification.

Pre-approval: While not required for every incentive, NSTAR pre-approval is always recommended because it ensures that all design assumptions and equipment selections meet incentive requirements and allows you to make any necessary changes to your equipment order before it’s too late. For pre-approval, you will need to complete basic savings calculations and provide equipment cut sheets.

Implementation: Once NSTAR provides a pre-approval letter, you have 12 months to implement the conservation measure. Within 30 days of completion you must amend your pre-approval application to reflect any changes and attach invoices for all relevant equipment purchased.

Verification: For incentives over $5,000 NSTAR may require on-site verification by their own staff, but on-site verification is rarely required for projects under this cutoff. Once the process is complete, NSTAR mails you a check.

Incentives available to the Harvard community

NSTAR rebates are based on reductions in electrical and natural gas demand and consumption. Programs exist for lighting, cooling, and process load equipment, and NSTAR encourages custom applications if your project does not fit into one of their existing programs. Both new construction and renovation projects are eligible, and even certain engineering and design costs can be covered in part by the suite of incentives NSTAR has developed.

Utility incentive resources at Harvard

As one of NSTAR’s largest customers, Harvard University has representatives at NSTAR committed to working with us to process incentive applications and payments (see contact info on right sidebar). Mary Smith, Associate Director of the Harvard Energy Supply & Utility Administration, is currently working with NSTAR to streamline this process even further through the development of a Memorandum of Understanding that will help to reduce the burden and schedule required to document and receive incentives. The Green Building Services department has managed incentive applications for dozens of energy conservation measures on campus and can provide turn-key services for ECM implementation on any project.

Green Building Services provides consulting services to ensure that the design, construction and operation of Harvard's built environment has minimal environmental and human health impacts, maximizes occupant comfort and generates an awareness of sustainable design and building operations. To learn more about our work and services, visit http://green.harvard.edu/gbs.