Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions that our customers tend to ask, hopefully this will help you better understand our program. If you don't find the answer to your questions below, feel free to give us a call at 989-894-8350 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
What is the Energy Smart Program?
Energy Smart is a portfolio of energy efficiency programs designed to assist our residential and business electric customers in reducing their electric energy usage.
When does the program end?
Bay City Electric Light & Power has submitted a yearly program plan to the Michigan Public Service Commission that runs on a calendar year through 2020. However, the Michigan Public Service Commission has some authority to modify or stop this program at any time.
Why is Bay City Electric Light & Power offering these programs to customers?
Energy efficiency became a statewide requirement for all utilities under the Clean, Renewable and Energy Efficiency Act of 2008. Basically, these programs help us give options to our customers – to meet their needs in a more environmentally friendly manner and be more cost efficient versus purchasing power or by building new generating plants. At the same time, these programs will help create jobs for local contractors who install products and vendors who sell the products.
Incentive Payment and Eligibility
Who is Eligible?
To be eligible, you must be a Bay City Electric Light & Power customer. Specific Terms and Conditions apply to each individual program.
I own a business; can I participate in the programs that are offered for residents?
No. Commercial and industrial customers must participate in the business programs and residents must participate in the residential programs. Each customer type has a different surcharge that funds this program. If you are a commercial or industrial customer, the surcharge on your bill funds the business programs.
Do I qualify for incentives if my facility is served by the utility for electricity and I am served by another utility for natural gas?
The programs offered through Bay City Electric Light & Power will only pay incentives for measures that save energy served by the utility. However, a custom incentive can be paid by two utilities for the same measure if the measure saves both gas and electricity, but each utility will only base the incentive on the savings for the commodity they serve.
Can I qualify for more than one incentive?
Yes, however each program has limits regarding how many individual incentives or total incentive dollars may be distributed per year. Please see the terms and conditions attached to the applications of each program or call (989) 894-8350.
How do I receive my incentive?
How long does it take?
Qualified customers will receive their incentive payment via bill credit from the utility. Under normal circumstances the customer should receive payment within 2-4 weeks of completion; however, there are times when payment is delayed.
Can I receive an incentive for new construction as well as an existing building?
Most of our programs require an existing structure to qualify for incentives. However, the Energy Smart Team has developed a Home Energy program which incentivizes new home builds. Homes can qualify for an incentive if it is independently rated as an ENERGY STAR® home. More details are available here.
Can I participate in programs for both my home and the business I own, or do I have to choose one?
If you own both a home and a business you may participate in both the business and residential programs offered, as long as both the home and business received electrical services from the utility. All criteria for the individual programs must also be met.
What is the availability of incentives?
Available funds are capped each year, so incentives will be offered until individual efficiency programs have reached their capacity. Once funds have been exhausted, the utility will create a waiting list to manage incentive requests and monitor funding availability as the filed projects are completed. Notification will be posted on the Web site as to when the annual program caps have been met. Those who have submitted incentive forms after the funding cycle has fully subscribed with ongoing projects may either receive an incentive the same year if funds become available, or delay their project and reapply for the following year's funding. However, since program rules and incentive levels may change from year to year, there is no guarantee that the project will be eligible under the following year guidelines. The utility will set limits in an effort to provide an equitable incentive to a wide cross-section of our customer base.
May I get an incentive to change from a natural gas technology to an electric technology or vice-versa?
No. At this time, fuel-switching measures are not eligible for incentives.
May I receive an incentive for installing on-site generation or a renewable energy system?
Currently, the Energy Smart program offers incentives for photovoltaic arrays with output greater than 1 kW. Call (989) 894-8350 for details.
Contractors & Trade Allies
Can the contractor I normally work with install products for me or do I have to work with someone else?
You may work with your contractor of choice; however, we encourage all contractors that wish to participate in the program to register as an active trade ally. This registration is free and provides trade allies with training and up-to-date information on the program offerings. Trade allies that are actively registered with the program are best able to understand if your energy efficiency project will qualify for an incentive and can assist you with complete incentive application paperwork.
How do I become a Trade Ally?
To become a Trade Ally, fill out the Trade Ally Participation Agreement and email to email@example.com, or mail to:
Bay City Electric Light & Power
ATTN: Energy Smart Program
900 S Water Street
Bay City, MI 48708
What are the benefits of being a Trade Ally?