Frequently asked questions: public sector assessments

Find the answers to frequently asked questions about assessments for businesses below. For additional questions, please contact us.

Overview

What am I eligible for as a business customer?
As a business, public sector or multi-family customer, you can receive a free energy assessment where our Energy Advisor will conduct an on-site energy assessment of your facility. Depending on the type of assessment, free energy-saving products may be installed in your business during the process. After the assessment, you’ll receive a customized report detailing energy-saving recommendations, product and improvement costs and available rebates or incentives for any energy efficiency improvements.

How do I know if I’m an eligible customer?

All current commercial customers, including public sector facilities and multi-family properties, on any rate class except rate 1 are eligible to receive an assessment from the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program. Self-directed customers are not eligible to participate.

What is a public sector facility?

A property which is controlled or owned by the government and is funded through taxation. Examples include:

  • K-12 public schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals and health clinics
  • Local, state, or federal government buildings
  • Airports
  • Libraries

How do I apply for an assessment?

Commercial assessments can be scheduled by calling 877.886.4239.

For an opportunity or facility assessment, download and submit the opportunity assessment request form or the facility assessment request form. If you have questions about the application forms, please call 312.344.1569 or email  eeinfo@nicorgas.com.

Do I need to be present during the assessment?

Yes. You or an authorized building representative will need to be there during the energy assessment. The Energy Advisor generally needs an escort to show him or her around the building, provide access to equipment and answer any questions that may come up during the walk-through. This helps them provide a comprehensive energy-saving assessment.

What is the cost of the assessment?

There is no cost to complete our commercial, opportunity or facility assessments.

How much involvement is required of our company?

An individual that is familiar with the facility will be required to meet with a Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program engineer on-site to help answer questions and serve as a guide for the facility. After the assessment is complete, key individuals may be requested to attend the report presentation. Attendees should include the plant manager, facility director, financial officer and chief executive officer or their equivalent positions.

How much will I save?

Your free customized report will provide estimates of the energy savings you may see from the free products installed. Your savings will vary based on your facility type.

What does the report include?
You'll receive a customized report summarizing your free energy-saving installation options, if applicable, as well as capital energy efficiency improvement recommendations and any available rebates for these projects.

What happens if I am referred to another Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program offering?

When referred to another offering you will be contacted by a Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program representative who will explain the current incentives and explore opportunities for you to benefit from the offerings.

Please call us at 312.344.1569 or email us if you have any questions about assessments.

What will I receive after the assessment?

All assessments will receive a customized report with recommendations for energy-saving opportunities.

After the on-site portion of an opportunity or facility assessment has been completed, we'll complete a report within four weeks and our Energy Efficiency Program representatives will contact you to schedule a time to present the information in the report. The report will break down your energy use for significant end use categories and will identify capital improvements and provide an initial estimate of potential costs and savings. Facility assessments also receive detailed energy calculations supporting each conservation opportunity.

What should my organization do after the assessment?

The assessment and report will provide your organization with detailed recommendations to improve your facility’s energy efficiency and reduce natural gas usage. The Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program will work with your staff to identify incentives and rebates available to help complete the recommended facility improvements.

While completing the recommended improvements is not required for participation, our assessments aim to provide you with the tools and resources to complete cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that help your bottom line.

Commercial assessments

What is a commercial assessment?

One of our skilled Energy Advisors or Certified Engineers will conduct a free assessment of your building to understand your facility’s needs and identify energy efficiency opportunities. You’ll receive a customized report summarizing your free energy-saving installations, capital energy efficiency improvement recommendations, available rebates and cost-benefit estimates for recommended improvements.

Free products may be installed where applicable, including:

  • Faucet aerators for kitchen(s) and bath(s)
  • Antimicrobial laminar flow restrictors
  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Salon sprayers
  • Pipe insulation
  • Pre-rinse spray valves for commercial kitchens

How do I know if I’m an eligible customer?

Facilities using less than 150,000 therms per year are eligible for our commercial assessments.

How long does the assessment take?

Depending on the size of the building, the assessment can take anywhere from two to four hours. During this time, the assessor will complete an on-site audit of your facility to determine what energy-saving opportunities may exist.

Opportunity assessments

What is an opportunity assessment?

An opportunity assessment is a free ASHRAE Level 1-type assessment that provides you with a detailed report of your facility’s natural gas energy usage, reduction recommendations and available incentives focusing on space and process heating equipment improvements and heat recovery opportunities.

How do I know if I’m an eligible customer?

You're eligible if you're a Nicor Gas commercial customer and your facility consumes a minimum of 500,000 therms per year. Self-directed/direct access customers are not eligible for energySMART. You must submit a completed participation request form to be considered for participation, though submitting a participation request form does not guarantee a facility assessment.

How much time is needed to complete the assessment?

A Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program engineer will be on site for one to three hours to collect data. Complete access to your facility will be required during the assessment. After the initial data has been collected, the opportunity assessment report will be delivered in approximately four weeks. A report presentation will be scheduled at the facility and key individuals from your organization are requested to attend.

Facility assessments

What is a facility assessment?

A facility assessment is a thorough ASHRAE Level 2-type all-day facility assessment. It may include detailed energy calculations supporting each energy efficiency opportunity identified as well as capital improvement suggestions and may also note low cost/no cost adjustments providing expected costs and savings.

How do I know if I’m an eligible customer?

You're eligible if you're a Nicor Gas commercial customer and your facility consumes a minimum of 500,000 therms per year. Self-directed/direct access customers are not eligible for energySMART. You must submit a completed participation request form to be considered for participation, though submitting a participation request form does not guarantee a facility assessment.

Why would I not be eligible for a facility assessment?
Funding for facility assessments is limited and not all customers who apply will be eligible. Facility assessments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to customers consuming more than 500,000 therms per year. Consuming 500,000 therms or more does not automatically qualify you for participation. If you are not selected to receive a facility assessment, every effort will be made to provide you with support services through energySMART.

Why would I not be eligible for a facility assessment?

Funding for facility assessments is limited and not all customers who apply will be eligible.

Facility assessments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to customers consuming more than 500,000 therms per year. Consuming 500,000 therms or more does not automatically qualify you for participation. If you are not selected to receive a facility assessment, every effort will be made to provide you with support services through the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program.

How much time is needed to complete the assessment?

A Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program engineer will be on site for a half to a full day to collect data. Complete access to your facility will be required during the assessment. After the initial data has been collected, the facility assessment report will be ready to be delivered in approximately eight weeks. A report presentation will be scheduled at the facility and key individuals from your organization will be required to attend.