Government Funding Available for Service Stations and Other Businesses That Install Emergency Backup Power Systems
Many local communities have been devastated by hurricanes, tornados, severe snowfalls and other violent wind storms. As a result, state governments are beginning to provide funding for service stations and other businesses that install emergency backup power systems to serve constituents during crisis. In fact, some states, such as Florida and Louisiana, require certain service stations to install transfer switching and wiring to accommodate alternate power sources or risk fines. (See chart below for a summary of current state programs.)
Generac is becoming more active in working with governmental agencies to educate them about the benefits of installing emergency backup power systems for non-code required businesses. These businesses can offer community members an “oasis” where they can purchase basic necessities or seek shelter during a prolonged crisis. As more states offer these types of grant programs, Generac’s authorized distributor and dealer network and their electrical contractor partners, can help businesses fulfill the requirements of these programs.
A good example is the state of Maryland’s “Fuel Up Maryland” program which is providing $1.7 million in funding support for the installation of wiring and back-up power generation at retail service stations. The Maryland Energy Administration is awarding up to $25,000 per grant. Kelly Generator & Equipment, Inc. (KGE), established in 1992, is the Mid Atlantic Authorized Generac Industrial Power Distributor. They have been working with about 40 service stations to obtain funding for their emergency backup power systems.
“About two years ago, Maryland was severely impacted by a derecho (a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms) as well as Superstorm Sandy. The state determined that there were about 700 service stations located on evacuation routes and created a voluntary program to help ensure they could maintain operations during power outages,” explained Shirley Ashton, Director of Sales, KGE. Service stations are non-code required businesses; however, NEC article 700 must be followed in the design of any emergency backup power system.
“While this grant money was available, few service stations were taking advantage of the program since the grants did not always cover the entire price of the generator and installation services,” said Ashton. “Generac developed a financing program with the GE Capital Equipment Finance team which encouraged many more service stations to take advantage of the program,” she added.
“In addition, one of our electrical contractors has been very instrumental in working with the businesses, helping them file the paperwork and taking them through the process. In fact, the grant program was set to expire in May of this year, but the state decided to extend it as there were still funds available. Our contractor helped re-write the extension to simplify the overall process for both the state and the businesses,” Ashton said.
One of KGE’s customers just received their grant from the state and will be placing their order for a new Generac power system within the week.
While the service station grant program will likely expire later this year, the state does plan to implement a new grant program for emergency backup power systems for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
A summary of current state programs is listed below. Generac will keep contractors and engineers informed about upcoming existing legislation and grant programs as they are created. If you want to know about programs in your state, contact your authorized Generac Industrial Power distributor or dealer.
Current State Programs
Florida – Service stations must be pre-wired with a transfer switch and have additional wiring capable of operating all pumps, dispensing equipment, payment systems and more, with an alternate power source and must have access to a portable generator for entities with more than 10 gas stations in a county. Other service stations may be required to comply based on their proximity with interstate highways and evacuation routes.
Louisiana - Service stations must be pre-wired with a transfer switch and have additional wiring capable of operating all pumps, dispensing equipment, payment systems and more, with an alternate power source, and have access to a portable generator for entities with more than 10 gas stations in a county. Other service stations may be required to comply based on their proximity with interstate highways and evacuation routes.
New York – Downstate service stations must be pre-wired with transfer switches and have additional wiring to operate pumps and systems if they are within half a mile of certain roads or evacuation routes. In upstate New York, these rules apply to new or substantially rebuilt service stations only.
New Jersey – Voluntary grant program. (Ended March 2014.)
Maryland – Voluntary grant program (The duration will be while the program still has funds, likely through 2014.)
Massachusetts – Every service station dealer must have and keep in good operating order an alternative power generation device by January 1, 2015.
West Virginia – Emergency generator tax credits are available for any business or residence that installs such a system between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2016.
California – Service stations that install a 30 kW or larger generator and have gross receipts less than $1 million may receive a tax credit through December 31, 2016.
New Hampshire – All service stations must be pre-wired with a transfer switch and have addition wiring capable of operating all pumps, dispensing equipment, payment systems and more with an alternate power source. Compliance required by January 1, 2018.
Connecticut – Lawmakers are considering proposals that would require gas stations to be backup-generator ready to protect against power outages in future storms. Nothing has been determined yet.