‘Found Money’: NJ Operator Taps Rebates for New Equipment
Brian Beere, owner of Single Source Plus, a hospitality launderer in Bellmawr, NJ, recently received a roughly $17,000 rebate check from his local utility, Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSEG), Newark, NJ, following his purchase of an energy-saving “insulation blanket” from an area supplier.
Beere told Textile Services Weekly that the initial investment for the insulating blanket was roughly $35,000 and that estimated energy savings will be $5,000-$6,000 per year. His sales rep and the blanket supplier helped Beere fill out the paperwork required for the rebate. This includes before-and-after photos of the blanket installation needed to qualify for the rebate.
An executive of the supplier company told us that many states offer rebate programs administered through local public utilities that provide electricity or natural gas to business customers like Single Source Plus. There are paperwork requirements to document the purchase of energy-saving equipment, such as the insulating blanket. However, vendors usually can assist operators with the application process. While neither the blanket manufacturer nor the sales rep get any share of the rebate money, they appreciate the goodwill that these programs generate for customers. “It’s our job to educate the brains of the world so you can get some money back on this,” the supplier executive said of his company, which designs and manufactures removable and reusable insulation blankets for a wide variety of clients that use boilers. “It’s just fill out an application and tell them what we’re going to do, and then when we do it. We prove it and then they go, ‘OK. There you go. You did what you said you were going to do. Here’s a check.’ That’s it.”
Many public utilities, like PSEG, require business customers to pay into a “societal benefits” fund. When customers invest in energy-saving equipment, they potentially can qualify for a rebate check based on these investments. The supplier executive said his team looked into the matter regarding the insulating blanket and determined that Single Source Plus does contribute to such a fund. “We checked with PSEG,” he said. “We found out, yes they do pay into that program, and therefore they’re eligible for a rebate.”
For Beere, the good news was getting revenue back on his investment that he hadn’t anticipated. “It’s found money,” he says. “If you’re going to do the improvement anyway… Right?”
But wait … it gets better. Beere is now in the process of upgrading his finishing department with two new ironers from Lapauw and feeders and folding equipment from a Japanese manufacturer. The ironers use thermal oil for heating, thus saving on natural gas currently used to heat steam for the company’s existing ironers. Beere anticipates a roughly 15% savings on natural gas due to the pending upgrade, which includes a two-roll and a three-roll ironer and related systems for folding and feeding. The entire package is expected to cost roughly $800,000-$900,000. Beere says he’s received tentative approval for a rebate from PSEG of up to $135,000.
If you’re purchasing equipment or making energy or water-saving investments in your plants, Beere suggests that you check with your supplier or ask your local utility if your company could qualify for a rebate.