Using Building Size to Optimize Electric Utility Energy Efficiency Incentives

  • Anastasia M. Roy LEED AP
  • Rachel L. Seraspe PE
  • Tejas Desai PE, LEED AP, CEM
Keywords: Optimize Electric Utility, Energy Efficiency


Electric utilities and government agencies across the U.S. offer financial incentives and subsidies to help end users offset the cost of energy efficiency measures (EEMs) installed in their facilities. These demand- side management programs are designed to reduce overall energy use to decrease strain on the grid, increase resiliency, meet regulatory requirements, and save money for both the utility and their customers. However, many utilities do not tailor their incentive programs to serve the needs of different building sizes. This occurs despite their customers’ varying energy profiles, economic and staffing resources, appetite for specific technologies, and overall organizational goals. The EEMs and savings potential for small buildings have less complicated building systems and generally fewer resources for energy upgrades. They are not the same as those for large buildings with more complex energy systems and dedicated building engineering staff. Our study reviews common utility energy efficiency incentive structures and analyzes the lighting and cooling equipment in small, medium and large commercial buildings. It proposes that optimizing incentives for building size can help utility policy-makers increase the enrollment, cost effectiveness and overall energy savings of their energy efficiency programs.


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Author Biographies

Anastasia M. Roy, LEED AP

Anastasia M. Roy, LEED AP, is a program manager at WES and brings eight years of consulting experience in the fields of environmental assessment and energy efficiency. Anastasia holds a B.A. from Kalamazoo College and an M.P.A. from Columbia University. Email:; Tel: (646) 599-2483.

Rachel L. Seraspe, PE

Rachel Seraspe, PE, is a program manager at WES. She has previously conducted ASHRAE Level I, II and III energy audits of hospitals, commercial, institutional and residential facilities. Rachel holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Boston University and an M.B.A. from Drexel University. She is a licensed professional engineer. Email:; Tel: (646) 604-4498.

Tejas Desai, PE, LEED AP, CEM

Tejas Desai, PE, LEED AP, CEM, CEA, CDSM, is an engineering manager at WES and has 12 years of experience in energy efficiency and engineering. Tejas holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Maharaja Sayajirao University and a Masters of Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Email: tdesai@willdan. com; Tel: (646) 357-6340.


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