Purpose of the Program

The Energy Conservation Rebate Program is specifically designed to allow various stakeholders at Oberlin College to 1) understand what rebates are available to them and 2) how to make the most of these resources. As of Fall 2015, we are utilizing two main rebate programs: EfficiencySmart Custom Energy Rebate Program and Columbia Gas Innovative Energy Solutions (IES) Rebate Program.

Background

Rebates are paybacks or partial refunds that can be given back to customers for a purchase or an activity. Because Oberlin College has been on the forefront in purchasing sustainable appliances and implementing conservation actions (such as investing in solar panels), there are programs willing to reward Oberlin College in the form of rebates. Currently, we are underutilizing the available rebate programs known to us and there isn’t a process in place to encourage Oberlin College staff, faculty and student organizations to capitalize on energy efficiency rebates administered by select distributors. As a result, no one has been proactively looking into available rebate programs. Thus, the Office of Environmental Sustainability has identified a need to formalize a program in the hopes that Oberlin College will take advantage of the various rebates available, specifically those that advance sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives on campus. Keith Watkins, Director of Facilities Operations, has been the sole patron of the Energy Conservation Rebate Program so far and has already collected over $100,000 in rebates in just the past three years! We hope the standardization of the rebate process will continue this trend and be an incentive for future innovative energy efficiency projects.

Program Management

The Office of Environmental Sustainability will administer the program. It will be the responsibility of OES to research and understand local, state, and national rebate opportunities, communicate them to campus through this platform, and be a resource for project managers during the application process. OES will be the main point of contact for the rebate program vendor. OES will also be responsible for maintaining a master database of rebates collected as well as administering the redistribution of collected rebate monies.  

It is the project manager's responsibility to apply for rebates. This may be subject to change as the program evolves, however, we believe it is important that all staff members are involved and educated in the rebate process, as it is an excellent resource. 

Say you have a project -- something needs to be upgraded, replaced, or you have an idea for a wickedly-cool energy efficiency project and want to know if there are any available rebates.

Step 1: Determine the nature of your project. There are two main energy suppliers that Oberlin College can receive rebates from: Columbia Gas (thermal distributor) and EnergySmart (electricity distributor). Is this a heating/gas project or a power/electricity project?

Step 2: Click the tab with the respective program and learn all about the different rebates offered. 

Step 3: Connect with the appropriate administration about the old model you wish to replace. The relevant staff members are posted under the tab ‘Stakeholders’ on the OES webpage. Remember that some rebate programs (i.e., Columbia Gas) are not retroactive, meaning you must apply for the rebate before starting the project.

Step 4: Contact the relevant representative of the company you’re getting the new model from to get details about the project (most importantly, the energy savings of the respective project). Provide this information to the appropriate stakeholder.

Step 5: Submit application for the rebate program.

Step 6: Once you receive the rebate check, submit it to the controller’s office and report the energy savings and rebate amount to OES.

The Columbia Gas (IES) Rebate Program serves to provide incentivized utility rebates for the purchasing of appliances and innovative projects relating to heating/natural gas consumption. Beneath, the application form for the rebate is provided along with a list of recommended items to be submitted. Submitting these recommended items helps facilitate the time and process of receiving the rebate. Columbia Gas may sometimes ask for a few more items depending on the appliance and project.

Columbia Gas also offers products for sale that are available for rebates. Products include: programmable thermostats, efficient showerheads and faucet aerators

Application for Columbia Gas Rebates

Recommended Materials for Application
  1. Rebate Application
  2. Purchase Order Request
  3. Purchase Order
  4. Check Made out to Purchaser (proof of payment)
  5. Photos of the old and new utility installed.
  6. A Specification Sheet (with serial & model numbers)
  7. A note on the hours of usage in a month
Point of Contact for Submission

Samantha Schneider, Program Coordinator
Innovative Energy Solutions
2740 Airport Drive, Suite 160
Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 855.211.4968
email: les@dnvgl.com
web: ColumbiaGasOhio.com/IES

The EnergySmart EfficiencySmart Business Energy Rebate Program serves to provide incentivised utility rebates for the purchasing of appliances and innovative projects relating to heating/natural gas consumption. Beneath, the application form for the rebate is provided along with a list of recommended items. These items are recommended to be submitted along the application in order to facilitate the time and process of receiving the rebate. Columbia Gas may sometimes ask for a few more items depending on the appliance and project submitted.

Recommended Materials for Application
  1. Rebate Application
  2. Purchase Order Request
  3. Purchase Order
  4. Check Made out to Purchaser (proof of payment)
  5. Photos of the old and new utility installed.
  6. A Specification Sheet (with serial & model numbers)
  7. Number of hours in use in a month
Point of Contact for Submission

Efficiency Smart
1111 Schrock Road, Suite 203
Columbus, Ohio 43229
Fax: 614.785.0217
e-mail: rebate@efficencysmart.org

All collected rebate monies will be placed into a dedicated fund that will be facilitated by the Controller’s Office. It is advantageous to take this approach because everything rebate-related will be under one account and therefore searchable. This way, we can easily track and quantify how much the College is getting from rebates. Currently, we are working to get this tracking mechanism in place.

This dedicated rebate fund could be re-administered to other qualifying energy efficiency capital and operational projects. This includes the purchasing of new equipment and/or machines over $1000 with a life expectancy of over 10 years and repairing and/or maintaining of existing equipment.

Priority is given to institutional projects with the highest impact, as determined by the Office of Finance and Administration. In doing so, the entire institution benefits, and by extension, those departments that contributed to the fund. Additional priority will be given to contributors in order to incentivize participation in this program. This process will be facilitated by OES in collaboration with the Controller’s Office.

Additional Note: Unfortunately, Green EDGE Fund sustainability grants will not be eligible for the rebate fund, however, efficiency loan grants will be accepted.