You may have heard the news: rebates are available at the federal and even state levels if you buy an electric car. But the various rebates available on energy-efficient components, including those used in compressed air systems, don't make the headlines. These range from simple prescriptive rebates, where the power company cuts a check when you buy an energy-efficient compressor, dryer, or even auto drain, to the more advanced “rebates” that pay based on the energy saved in your facility. The latter requires a study of your current compressed air and power consumption and the new compressed air and power consumption after improvements to the compressed air system were made.
Why air compressors? Any time you squeeze something, you get heat; when you squeeze air, you get mostly heat and a little bit of compressed air. If you’ve ever been in a poorly ventilated compressor room in the summer, you’ll most likely and unfortunately, realize there’s quite a bit of squeezing going on. All of that heat requires power; believe it or not, power costs can exceed the purchase price of the air compressor in the first year of operation.
Complicated? While the local electrical utility typically provides these rebates and can vary significantly by region, there’s a comprehensive online database of available incentives and policies published by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University named DSIRE®. This robust resource will help you find the current incentives for various products for residential, commercial and industrial use, not just air compressors. If you are specifically looking at your compressed air system, contact your local Kaeser representative, who can explain the compressed air rebates available in your area and measure your compressed air consumption and energy costs.
No rebates? Unfortunately, these rebates aren’t available everywhere but luckily, there are steps you can take to lower your energy and maintenance costs. Low-cost actions like controller adjustments or leak repair can quickly pay for themselves. Better yet, many of these energy-saving options also improve system performance. More air for less money? Yes, please!