Commercial Design Assistance

Qualifying building owners, architectural and engineering firms, and developers can participate in our free integrated design process that puts energy efficiency at the forefront of plans for new construction. Business owners can:

  • Qualify for significant rebates that will offset the cost of more efficient materials and equipment.
  • Reduce equipment maintenance and replacement costs because more efficient equipment may have a longer production life.
  • Achieve significant savings in long-term energy and maintenance costs. 

Phases and incentives

  • Computer modeling of design alternatives
    This program includes individual strategy modeling and schematic description of selected strategy concepts. The program packages these strategies and analyzes them for their net impact on the building's energy use.
  • Design-team reimbursements
    While design teams often are interested in exploring energy-saving alternatives, typical fee structures provide little room for analyzing alternatives. This program offers a financial reimbursement to help compensate design-team members for their time to participate in this process.
  • Construction incentives
    Once a package of strategies has been identified, we use the State of Minnesota Energy Code as the baseline for energy-savings analysis and offer a financial incentive commensurate with energy-savings projections.
  • Construction document review
    A design assistance consultant reviews the construction documents to ensure that the plans reflect the modeled intent.
  • Energy-efficiency measurement and verification
    When construction is completed, we will review operations in the areas affected by the energy-efficiency strategies to provide feedback to the owners, design team, and modelers on the as-built results. 

When to start

The design phase offers the greatest opportunity to affect the energy use of your new building. To participate in the Commercial Design Assistance Program, contact us at the start of your design process.

Qualifications

  • Minimum project size: 5,000 square feet (pending additional qualifications)

  • Project location: Otter Tail Power Company Minnesota service area

  • Customer type: Otter Tail Power Company commercial or industrial customer

  • Initial utility contact: Schematic or early design development

  • Required energy savings: 5 percent beyond a baseline building 

Application process

  1. Fill out the online application and submit it online or return your hard copy to an energy expert on our staff.
  2. We'll conduct an initial review of your application. If you qualify for Commercial Design Assistance, we'll be in touch with detailed information about the next steps in the process. 

Enhanced Energy Design Assistance

If you're committed to maximizing energy savings and have an interest in recognition for your efforts, consider the Enhanced Energy Design track of this program. To qualify, you must be enrolled in one of the following programs prior to formation of conceptual design plans and application to the Commercial Design Assistance Program.

  • LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system
  • Sustainable Buildings 2030 initiative
  • Other approved certification programs

Enhanced Energy Design projects must meet or exceed 20 percent projected energy savings over baseline conditions to qualify for energy-efficiency incentives. 

More information

Take advantage of significant incentives and long-term savings by building energy efficiency into your new-construction project. Review the brochure, call our Idea Center at 800-493-3299, or contact an energy expert for more information about our Commercial Design Assistance Program and/or about Energy Star, LEED, or Green Globes.

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