Frequently asked questions: business assessments

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

Eligibility

What am I eligible for as a business customer?
A free energy assessment in which an Energy Advisor will conduct an on-site energy assessment of your facility. You will receive a customized report summarizing your free energy-saving installation options, capital energy efficiency improvement recommendations, available rebates and cost-benefit estimates for recommended improvements.

Free products will 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?

All current business customers on all rate classes are eligible to receive an assessment from energySMART. Public (tax payer-funded) entities and self-directed customers are not eligible to participate in the energySMART program. Large facilities using 150,000 therms or more annually may qualify for an in-depth opportunity assessment  or facility assessment.

How much energy do the free products save?

Your free customized report will provide estimates of the energy savings you may see from the free products installed. Savings vary by business.

Why is energySMART being offered?

energySMART is designed to educate customers about the benefits of high efficiency, gas-saving products, to help customers understand what energy-saving opportunities they may have in their business, and to encourage customers to install these products by providing cash incentives.

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.

Do I need to be present during the assessment?

Yes. 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.

What does the report include?
You will 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.

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 must be a Nicor Gas commercial customer and your facility must consume a minimum of 150,000 therms per year. Public (taxpayer-funded) entities and self-directed/direct access customers are not eligible for energySMART. You must submit a completed participation request form to be considered for participation; however, submitting a participation request form does not guarantee acceptance.

How do I apply for an opportunity assessment?

To be considered for participation, you must complete and submit a participation request form. If you have questions about the application form, please call 312.344.1569 or email facilityassessment@nicorgasrebates.com.

What happens if I am referred to another energySMART offering?

When referred to another energySMART offering you will be contacted by an energySMART representative who will explain the current incentives and explore opportunities for you to benefit from the energySMART offerings.

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

What will I receive after the assessment?

After the on-site portion of the assessment has been completed, a report will be completed within four weeks. energySMART 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.

What is the cost of the assessment?

There is no cost to complete the opportunity assessment.

How much involvement is required of our company?

An individual that is familiar with the facility will be required to meet with an energySMART engineer on-site to help answer questions and serve as a guide for the facility. After the assessment is complete, key individuals will 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 time is needed to complete the assessment?

An energySMART 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.

What should my company do after the assessment?

The opportunity assessment and report will provide your company with detailed recommendations to improve your facility’s energy efficiency and reduce natural gas usage. energySMART 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, this assessment aims to provide you with the tools and resources to complete cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that help your bottom line.

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 apply for a facility assessment?

To be considered for participation, you must complete and submit a participation request form.

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

You must be a Nicor Gas commercial customer and your facility must consume a minimum of 500,000 therms per year. Public (taxpayer-funded) entities and self-directed/direct access customers are not eligible for energySMART. You must submit a completed participation request form to be considered for participation; however, 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 or the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC).

What does the SEDAC referral entail?

In order to participate in the SEDAC program you will need to complete a one-page application; representatives will walk through your facility to collect data. SEDAC will then provide a report identifying energy reduction measures and available incentives.

What happens if I am referred to another energySMART offering?

When referred to another energySMART offering you will be contacted by an energySMART representative to schedule a time to visit your facility to explain the current incentives and explore opportunities for you to benefit from energySMART.

What documentation will I need to submit in order to participate?

A participation request form will need to be completed and submitted to facilityassessment@nicorgasrebates.com. Additional information will also be required before the facility assessment is scheduled. That information will include general facility information (e.g., usage data, square footage, etc.) and contact information for key individuals. You will also be required to submit a Nicor Gas utility bill and architectural drawings, if available.

What will I receive after the assessment?

After the on-site portion of the assessment has been completed, a report will be completed within approximately eight weeks. energySMART representatives will contact you to schedule a time to discuss the information in the report. The report will break down your energy use for significant end-use categories, identify capital improvements and provide an initial estimate of potential costs and savings. Detailed energy calculations supporting each conservation opportunity will also be provided.

What is the cost of the assessment?

There is no cost to complete the facility assessment.

How much involvement is required of our company?

An individual that is familiar with the facility will be required to meet with an energySMART engineer on site to help answer any questions and serve as a guide for the facility. After the assessment is complete, key individuals will 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 time is needed to complete the assessment?

An energySMART 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.

What should my company do after the facility assessment?

The facility assessment and report will provide your company with detailed recommendations to improve your facility’s energy efficiency and reduce natural gas usage. energySMART 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, this assessment aims to provide you with the tools and resources to complete cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that help your bottom line.