NEVADA: NV Energy offers aggressive wind incentives

NV Energy has an aggressive wind incentive program, with 5MW of available capacity and over $20 million in funding. Customers throughout Nevada are eligible to participate in the WindGenerations incentive program and, based on program category, may qualify for up to $1.5 million in rebates when they install wind turbines at their home, small business, agriculture property, school or public building. Since the program’s inception, over 200 applications have been received, 40 projects completed, 124 kW installed and over $300,000 in rebates paid. NV Energy credits the incentive program’s increasing growth and success to its strategic plan. The plan consist of contractor development, customer outreach, building program awareness, working closely with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) to increase project caps and incentive levels and promoting project successful installations through earned advertising and media events.

Contractor Development

NV Energy implemented a variety of tactics in 2009 to assist with the development of a qualified contractors’ base. Through NV Energy workshop and events, contractors were taught the technical aspects of installing small wind systems and how to help their customers though the WindGenerations incentive program. Contractors drive program participation and use the WindGenerations incentive program as a sales tool to help customers lower their overall installation costs. A larger qualified contractor base results in higher program participation.

Customer Outreach

NV Energy hosted a variety of customer workshops throughout the year to introduce the incentive program and to lead participants through the steps they would need to take to successfully complete the incentive program application, installation and approval processes. Through customer mixers, NV Energy also introduced customers interested in installing wind systems to contractors who could assist them.

Customer Outreach Managers participate in a large number of community events through the year to distribute program collateral and answer questions. Outreach Managers also act as a liaison to project participants to assist them through the incentive program.

Building Program Awareness

NV Energy implemented a paid media campaign to promote the WindGenerations incentive programs in northern and southern Nevada. NV Energy also took advantage of earned advertising opportunities and distributed press releases throughout the year to introduce the incentive program, communicated program enhancements and to celebrate successful installations and milestones.

Campaign tactics included newspaper, radio, email blasts and direct mail. Because of the campaign, phone calls increased significantly, new visitors to the WindGenerations webpage’s were higher and applications for the WindGenerations program doubled.

Increase Program Caps

NV Energy increased the financial incentives for its WindGenerations program to encourage Nevadans to install wind turbines at their homes and businesses. They raised the kW ceiling from 30 kW to 60 kW for residential customers, to 250 kW for small businesses, and 500 kW for agricultural customers. Wind projects were previously limited to 50 kW for schools and public buildings, but the limit has been increased to 250 kW and 500 kW.

At their request, the Public Utility Commission increased incentive levels in 2010. The increase generated additional enthusiasm around the program, resulting in increased applications.

Source: IREC and NV Energy


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