Is my diesel generator certified as RICE NESHAP compliant?

Diesel Engine EPA Emissions Regulations for RICE NESHAP

As a local Florida contractor of EPA RICE NESHAP compliance upgrades for diesel generators, we are often asked; how can I know if my diesel generator meets the emissions levels required to participate in a load management program that requires a Non-Emergency rated engine?

4/22/16 NOTE: The previous EPA exemption enjoyed by Duke Energy Load Control customers is scheduled to end on Monday May 2nd 2016.

Owners of affected engines will have until December 31st 2016 to demonstrate compliance – or forfeit your annual savings by leaving the program.

Contact John Macgowan to understand how this regulation change will affect you and to schedule a no cost RICE NESHAP compliance evaluation of your generators 727-432-5335 or by email

If you’re generator does require compliance upgrades, we can provide a cost effective, turn-key proposal shortly after visiting your facility. 

First, a quick explanation of how the EPA classifies the use of diesel electrical generators…

  • Emergency Standby Generators are those used only for emergencies; i.e. lights out, when the utility has failed and can not provide power to your building. These generators can be small (only supporting critical/life-safety loads) or large enough to power the entire facility.
  • Non-Emergency Generators can be used during emergencies, however they can also be used to provide power when there’s a perfectly good utility electrical feed from your power company. These generators are typically large enough to power all the loads present in the building.

Examples of Non-Emergency use are…

  • Regular monthly exercising and maintenance
  • Participation in a load/demand management or interruptible power program with your utility that brings financial gain.
    • Note that there are two categories of utility programs. Each affects owners differently. A full explanation is available in our compliance checklist. UPDATE: this has been changed and there’s now only one category – all programs will require non-emergency engines for participation.
  • Islanding (running your generator proactively when there’s an approaching storm) to prevent any disruption in electrical service.
  • Peak Shaving
  • Remote location operation – when there is no electrical utility service available.

Duke Energy’s new Schedule B Non-Emergency Standby Generation rate (download the tariff here) is an example of an electrical utility that offers different discount rates, based on the type/level of EPA emissions certification of your engine.

UPDATE: Duke Energy has published a revision to their Rate Tariff (download the revised tariff here) that identifies the Dec 31st 2016 deadline for compliance.

You can download the complete (as of Nov 2015) EPA regulations here.

Download our easy to follow, diesel generator compliance checklist – here.


Seeking Refunds for Misapplied Utility Rates

An issue first unearthed by the Cutrale debacle of Leesburg, Florida, is dredged up once again for over a dozen companies served by Duke Energy Florida.  The utility is admitting that some business customers are paying higher rates than they should, but Duke is refusing to compensate those companies for what they overpaid. Tampa Bay Times Article Here.

A number of factors go into creating these situations, but they all stem from a business not having knowledge and personnel needed to choose the correct rate. Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) like Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light, and Tampa Electric offer a slew of different rates for the electricity they provide based on a number of factors like, how much you use, when you use it, how you use it, and many more. In an effort to try and simplify the convoluted choices, the different types of business rates can be placed in a 40×15 matrix as seen to the left.

For buildings like the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg in the Times article above, who had been placed into the wrong rate structure, the matrix did little to help their billing department know something was wrong. As a result, they paid over $20,000 more than they should have and they are not alone. This is such a big problem that former employees of the IOU’s are leaving and starting businesses that review customers’ utility bills, save them money by getting on the right rate, and split the savings.

There are many companies that exist to monitor utility bills so that businesses can focus on their own industry and not worry about their energy bills. In fact, Hill York’s Energy Solutions group has energy service agreements that benchmark energy use, analyze utility bills, and monitor equipment while identify deficiencies that might cost you money. These services range in price depending on the customer, but like the aforementioned shared savings agreement, you could pay nothing upfront.

This case study describes the efficiency offerings we have while also singling out two instances where Hill York discovered discrepancies in utility bills with a value of over $80,000 and $18,000.