2023 ComEd Compressed Air Energy Incentives

Jan 22, 2023 by Brad Taylor


Our air compressor supplier company has great news for Northern Illinois manufacturers: you can save thousands of dollars in energy bills by improving the efficiency of your compressed air systems. Thanks to compressed air energy incentive programs from ComEd, optimizing your compressed air system may cost little or nothing. And there is an exciting update for 2023: the ComEd Small Business program now applies to companies with peak demand of up to 400kW per month! 

ComEd offers several energy incentives and incentive programs for manufacturing customers in Northern Illinois. These programs pay for leak detection and repair and provide incentives for Variable Speed Drive (VSD) compressors and other energy-saving upgrades to your compressed air system. These programs include Small Business Offerings, Standard Energy Incentive Programs and Industrial Systems Programs for compressed air systems for 25 HP and above. 

Standard Energy Incentive Programs

  • Small Business Energy Incentives (for businesses with peak demand <400kW)
  • Standard Prescriptive incentives (for businesses of any size)
  • Fix-It-Now (for leak repair and other well-defined repairs and system upgrades)

What’s New in ComEd Energy Incentives for 2023?

ComEd has made some exciting changes to their energy incentive programs for 2023. Here is a summary of the significant changes. 

  • The Small Business Incentive Program, which offers some of the most generous incentives for VSD air compressors and other compressed air upgrades, has been expanded to include businesses with up to 400 kW peak demand. (Up from 200 kW peak previously.) 
  • Incentives for VSD air compressor have been increased substantially, from $130 to $200/HP for the Standard Incentive program and $400/HP for the Small Business Incentive Program.

How Do Energy Incentives Work?

ComEd, like many energy suppliers, provides incentives to help large energy users reduce their consumption. In late 2016, Illinois passed the Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814), raising overall utility energy efficiency targets to require ComEd and Ameren to achieve cumulative 21.5% and 16% reductions in energy use, respectively, by 2030.

Why would your energy company want you to use less energy? For a couple of reasons. First, energy companies get incentives from the government to reduce their carbon footprint, which means reducing the amount of energy their customers consume. Second, energy companies want to reduce the overall load on the power grid. By helping their customers be more energy-efficient, energy companies can forestall expensive infrastructure upgrades, reduce the risk of outages, and better regulate supply and demand.

Manufacturers and other large energy users provide the greatest opportunity for energy companies like ComEd to reduce the overall load on the power grid and avoid big swings in energy demand. For many manufacturers, the compressed air system represents a large share of their overall energy consumption. Inefficiencies in compressed air systems can add thousands of dollars to the average manufacturer’s energy bill and add to the strain on the power grid.

That’s why ComEd and other power companies target incentives and incentive programs specifically to compressed air users. If you are a ComEd customer, you have already paid for the energy incentive program as part of your electricity bill. You’ll find the program under the “Taxes and Fees” section of your energy bill. And since you’ve already paid for it, you might as well use it!

Prescriptive and custom energy incentive programs from ComEd can help companies offset the cost of energy-saving improvements to their compressed air systems; in some cases, these incentives may cover the majority of the cost. Generally, these programs will cover the cost of new equipment only.

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Standard Energy Incentive Programs

Standard Energy Incentive Programs from ComEd have prescriptive incentives as well as custom programs for energy improvements that do not fall under the standard programs. All  incentive programs require pre-approval prior to the purchase and installation of new equipment.

To Start an Application for a Standard Energy Incentive Program

Fluid-Aire Dynamics will work with you to complete the paperwork for standard energy incentives from Com-Ed. 

  1. Photos of existing equipment and a copy of your ComEd bill are required.
  2. We will work with you to identify projects that qualify for the Com-Ed standard incentives and create an application. 
  3. The proposed application is sent to the customer for approval signatures.
  4. After the signed application is received, it is submitted to ComEd for pre-approval (2-5 business days).
  5. After ComEd approval, the equipment and installation order can be placed.
  6. Post-installation photos and a final signature are required in order to close-out the incentive process.
  7. The incentive is paid directly to Fluid-Aire Dynamics; you owe only any remaining balance over and above the ComEd incentive amount. 


Notes: The signature page for the Small Business Offerings is titled: Project Invoice. This is not an invoice for the customer to pay, it is the invoice for ComEd to pay the compressed air service provider. 

An inspection may be performed with a Fluid-Aire Dynamics representative and ComEd representative at any time during the process.

ComEd Small Business Energy Incentive Program

The ComEd Small Business Program was expanded in late 2022 to include manufacturers with up to 400 kW peak demand. (It was previously limited to manufacturers with peak demand up to 200 kW). The Small Business Program now covers all but the largest manufacturers, businesses and public facilities. This is exciting news, because the Small Business program supplies larger incentives than those available under the standard prescriptive program.  

This ComEd Small Business Program has incentives to help manufacturers make a variety of energy-saving upgrades to their systems, including but not limited to upgrades to their compressed air systems. Under this program, ComEd will provide:

  • A free energy assessment of your facility (through an authorized service provider like Fluid-Aire Dynamics
  • A detailed report with recommendations for energy efficiency projects
  • Instant incentives for the purchase and installation of recommended efficiency upgrades

Prescriptive Incentive Limits for the ComEd Small Business Program 

ComEd offers generous incentives in the Small Business Program for compressed air, including $400/HP for a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) Rotary Screw Compressor to replace an existing fixed speed rotary screw air compressor. In many cases, this will pay for more than 75% of the capital cost of a new VSD air compressor. 

Switching from a fixed-speed air compressor to a VSD air compressor could save up to 70% on energy consumption for compressed air. Read more: Why Choose or Upgrade to a Variable Speed Drive Air Compressor?

ComEd also offers prescriptive incentives for other types of system improvements under the Small Business Program.  


Small Business Rebate

VSD Air Compressor (to replace existing fixed speed)


Zero-Loss Condensate Drain


High-Efficiency Air Nozzle


High-Efficiency Cycling Air Dryer (to replace non-cycling dryer)


How to Get Started with ComEd Small Business Energy Incentives

Getting started with Small Business Energy Incentives through ComEd is easy. 

  • Check your energy bill from ComEd. It should list your peak demand at the top of the bill. If your peak demand is less than or equal to 400 kW, you qualify for the Small Business Program. (Customers with peak demand >400 kW may still qualify for other programs below.) 
  •  Contact an authorized service provider for the ComEd Small Business Program. Fluid-Aire Dynamics works with Duralec as our underwriter for the Small Business Program.   
  • Complete an energy study and get your project pre-approved.  Both standard and custom incentive programs will require pre-approval prior to the purchase and installation of new equipment. 
  • Get your energy upgrades completed by your authorized service provider.
  • When you fill out your paperwork, you can designate your compressed air vendor as the recipient of the incentive. Then, your vendor will bill you for only the cost of the equipment above and beyond what the incentive program covers. 

    Other Standard Energy Incentive Programs from ComEd 

    Peak demand over 400 kW? Don’t worry–ComEd Energy offers additional incentives for larger companies, too. Standard Prescriptive incentive Programs offer a defined incentive for the purchase of energy-saving upgrades for your compressed air systems, including VSD air compressors, zero-loss condensate drains, and more. These programs are open to all non-residential customers, regardless of size. 

    Variable Speed Drive (VSD) Prescriptive Incentive Programs

    The ComEd Standard Incentive Program covers several different kinds of energy upgrades for industrial compressed air systems, but upgrading to VSD delivers the highest payoff. VSD air compressors save energy by controlling the frequency supplied to the drive motor on the air compressor in response to real-time demand on the system. When demand is low, the motor will run at a reduced speed, requiring less energy to operate. When demand for compressed air is higher, the VSD will automatically increase the frequency of the air compressor motor to meet CFM demand. An average-size manufacturer may see $15K-20K in annual energy savings when upgrading from a fixed-speed rotary screw compressor to a VSD compressor.

    The ComEd standard prescriptive incentive program covers $200 per HP for new air compressors with integrated VSD (up to 200 HP) when replacing an existing fixed-speed rotary screw compressor or installing a new one for a new facility or expansion. Multiple compressors of ±200 HP may be used per job; VSD air compressors larger than 200 HP may qualify for incentives under ComEd’s Custom Efficiency programs.

    Standard Compressed Air Prescriptive Incentive Programs

    ComEd offers several additional prescriptive incentive programs for compressed air. Pre-application is not required for projects with a cost of under $1,000. Good news for 2023: the standard prescriptive rebate has been increased to $200 per HP for a VSD air compressor ≤200 HP when replacing a fixed-speed compressor! 


    Standard Prescriptive Rebate

    Air compressor(s) with integrated VSD ≤ 200 HP

    $200 per HP

    No-loss condensate drains

    $100 per drain

    VSD Refrigerated dryers

    $3 per rated CFM

    Heated blower purge desiccant compressed air dryer

    $4 per CFM

    Industrial Systems Programs

    The Industrial Systems programs at ComEd provide additional incentives for industrial systems projects, including compressed air studies, repair and system upgrades. These programs are open to customers with compressed air systems of 25 HP or greater.


    Leak Detection and Repair 

    The Fix-It-Now Leak Repair Program is free to ComEd customers. Here are some things to know: 

    • The Fix-It-Now Leak Repair program is available to all ComEd customers with a compressed air system of 25HP or greater (non-backup compressors). 
    • Customers may take advantage of the Fix-It-Now program as often as once every year. 
    • Leak detection study and repair must be completed by an authorized ComEd service provider.
    • Service generally takes one full business day. Plant must be running during the Leak Survey. 
    • The tech will provide an estimate of the yearly cost of the leak and estimated time for repair. Where possible, leaks will be repaired same day. Small shutdowns may be requested during repair (the customer can deny shutdown). 
    • No man lifts required; leaks can be repaired up to 8’ off the ground.
    • Customers will receive a report of work completed and leaks found one to two weeks after the service is performed. 
    • Leak repair is usually booked two weeks to 1.5 months in advance.

    Aire Tip: Leaks in your compressed air system can add 30% or more to your compressed air energy bill. Read more about the cost of leaks in your compressed air system. 

    Fix-It-Now Prescriptive Incentives 

    This program pays incentives for identification of issues and repair or mitigation of issues identified. 

    Project Type 

    Identification Incentive

    Repair/Mitigation Incentive

    Air Compressor with Integrated VSD ≤ 150 HP



    VSD retrofit on Air Compressor ≤ 150 HP



    High-Efficiency Air Nozzle



    Zero-Loss Condensate Drain



    Low Pressure Drop Filters


    $3.50/connected HP

    Increase Storage on Load/No Load Systems



    Decrease Discharge Pressure


    $50/PSI reduction

    Desiccant Compressed Air Dryer



    Other (low-pressure, blowers, outdoor intake set point adjustment, desiccant dryer dew point adjustment, etc.)


    $0.12/kWh saved

    Comprehensive Industrial Study

    Large businesses may also qualify for a comprehensive energy efficiency study from ComEd. Manufacturers who implement energy-saving measures identified in the comprehensive study qualify for up to $0.18 for each kWh of energy saved under the ComEd Industrial Systems Program. In many cases, this is enough to cover all or most of the cost of the upgrade. 

    These studies cover five areas of energy use:

    • Compressed Air
    • Process Cooling
    • Industrial Refrigeration
    • Wastewater Treatment/Water Supply
    • Process Efficiency

    The projects have three phases.

    • Investigation: Each project starts with an energy efficiency study completed by ComEd and/or an authorized ComEd partner. The study identifies the biggest opportunities for energy savings and estimates the annual kWh savings for each improvement.
    • Installation: The recommended installation, repair, or upgrade is completed by an authorized ComEd partner. As with the prescriptive programs, you can designate your compressed air vendor as the incentive recipient, so you only have to pay for costs over and above what the incentive will cover.
    • Verification: Custom programs must have a follow-up study completed after the installation to verify that the estimated energy savings have been realized. ComEd pays the vendor once the verification study is complete.

    The compressed air portion of the study will most likely include both leak detection and data logging. Data logging involves attaching a sensor such as a pressure gauge or amp meter to the system for an extended time period, typically at least two weeks. In most cases, amp meter data logging is sufficient for a compressed air study. Monitoring energy use by the air compressor over time allows us to extrapolate important information such as the average duty cycle, time spent loaded and unloaded, peak usage times, and the variability in energy use over a shift, day, or week.

    Collecting data over time while the system is in normal operation provides insights into system performance that can be used to identify opportunities for savings. For example, if you have large variations in compressed air demand, the study may recommend installing a smaller HP backup compressor for use during periods of low demand. The energy savings created by reducing dependence on a large compressor may more than pay for the cost of the smaller compressor. A comprehensive study can also tell you if you are running your compressed air system at a higher pressure than necessary.

    What to Expect During Your Comprehensive Study

    The entire process generally takes five weeks for pre-approval and then five weeks for the post-installation process. The installation timeline is dependent on equipment availability and the schedule for the installers. Here’s what you can expect when working with Fluid-Aire Dynamics. 

    1. Baseline data collection: Initial data logging is completed at your site to measure current energy consumption and demand patterns. (Two weeks)
    2. Preliminary approval: Data from the data logging study is processed and submitted to ComEd along with identified opportunities for savings. (Three weeks)
    3. Pre-inspection: An on-site inspection is completed to verify the site, equipment and accuracy of the data.
    4. Signatures: A Customer Signature Form (CSF) with the results and predicted incentive is generated and presented. It is then decided which measures to go ahead with. Customer signs the CSF.
    5. Installation and verification: New equipment is installed. A second data logging study is completed to verify the energy savings realized. (Two weeks)
    6. Final approvals: Data from the study is processed and the results are submitted to ComEd for approval. (Three weeks)
    7. Post-installation inspection: ComEd completes a post-installation inspection to verify energy savings. 
    8. Incentive payment: The incentive is released by ComEd. This incentive is directly related to kWh saved and is paid directly to the end user by ComEd.  

    Getting Started with ComEd Energy Incentives for Compressed Air Systems

    Fluid-Aire Dynamics makes it easy to qualify for incentive and incentive programs from ComEd. We are an authorized service provider for compressed air system energy incentives through ComEd. We’ll even fill out the paperwork for you and provide all the required documentation. We can:

    • Conduct compressed air studies through the ComEd program

    • Identify your greatest opportunities for energy savings and incentives

    • Detect and repair leaks through the Fix-it-Now program

    • Install qualifying equipment and upgrades, including VSD air compressors

    Contact us to learn how we can help you improve the energy efficiency of your compressed air system. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can start saving money on your energy bill!

    Tools and Resources from ComEd

    Small Business Programs

    Variable Speed Drives

    Facility Assessments

    Find your monthly peak energy usage

    Industrial Systems

    Compressed Air

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    Get in Touch Today

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    We are here to serve your compressed air system needs 24/7/365. Call or click today!

    Contact us