Savings by Design (Offered by five Utilities) (California)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Financial Incentive Program

Place California

Name Savings by Design (Offered by five Utilities)
Incentive Type Utility Rebate Program
Applicable Sector Commercial, Construction, Industrial, Nonprofit, Design Teams
Eligible Technologies Boilers, Central Air conditioners, Chillers, Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Custom/Others pending approval, Energy Mgmt. Systems/Building Controls, Furnaces, Heat pumps, Lighting, Lighting Controls/Sensors, Processing and Manufacturing Equipment, Water Heaters, Windows, Daylighting
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector Utility
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs, Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount Whole Building Approach (owner)
$0.10 - $0.30/annualized kWh savings, $1.00/therm, or $100/peak kW

Whole Building Approach (designer)
$0.033 - $0.10/annualized kWh savings or $0.333/therm
Whole Building Approach (Commissioning/Monitoring/Certification): 10% of Owner Incentive
Whole Building Approach (Design Team Stipend)
Systems Approach
Lighting/Daylighting systems: $0.05/kWh or $100/peak kW
HVAC: $0.15/annualized kWh savings, $1.00/therm, or $100/peak kW
Refrigeration: $0.15/annualized kWh savings, $1.00/therm, or $100/peak kW
Envelope: $0.15/annualized kWh savings or $100/peak kW
Hot Water Systems: $1.00/therm
Manufacturing Process Projects: $0.09/kWh, $1.00/therm or $100/peak kW
Peak Demand Incentive: $100/peak kW

Equipment Requirements Nonresidential new construction or major renovation projects

Must result in at least 10% greater efficiency than Title 24 baseline (15% for design teams)
Must be in the service area of participating utilities

Maximum Incentive Whole Building (owner): $150,000

Whole Building (designer): $50,000
Systems (owner): $150,000
All incentives are limited to 75% of the incremental cost

Date added to DSIRE 2006-05-03
Last DSIRE Review 2012-07-30
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


In conjunction with the California Department of Public Utilities, Savings by Design offers services and incentives to help owners and designers of commercial buildings raise energy performance. Qualified non-residential new construction and renovation projects in the service area of one of the five participating utilities are eligible to participate. The five participating utilities are Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and Southern California Gas Company. Owners and designers are eligible for incentives if the facility's efficiency is 10% better than Title 24 standards.

Savings by Design has two basic approaches through which to participate: the Whole Building Approach and the Systems Approach. Through the Whole Buildings Approach owners may be eligible for incentives of up to $150,000 and design teams may receive up to $50,000. The Systems Approach evaluates individual efficiency improvements to qualifying systems. Incentives are based on annualized kWh savings, therm savings, and peak demand reduction. Owners are eligible for incentives up to $150,000. All technologies are eligible for peak demand incentives, with the exception of hot water systems. In addition, design assistance is available to owners and design teams.

Interested customers must contact the utility early in the design process to determine funding availability and start technical and design assistance. Detailed information, including contact information may be found on the web site listed above.


  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"