Consider the value of variable frequency drives

Consider the Value of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)

Among the most beneficial emerging technologies are Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), which can have a huge impact on efficiency for many types of businesses and industries. Any business that makes heavy use of ventilation fans, refrigeration systems or pumping water to irrigate crops will find VFDs extremely beneficial.

Unlike a standard motor, which operates at a fixed speed, adding a VFD to the device will let you modulate the flow based on your processing conditions and needs. This ability-to- fluctuate drives down energy usage and costs, making these products an ideal solution for many customers that work with trade professionals.

PG&E offers rebates and incentives for VFDs to help business owners offset upfront costs. Below are rebate descriptions for various applications of VFDs.

Process Fans

Adding a VFD to a process fan or blower enables turndown of fan speed to match the process requirements. It also provides additional benefits of soft start and cooler operation of equipment, so it will last longer, run quieter and need less maintenance.

Rebate CodeDescriptionRebate/Unit Measure


VFD for Process Fan or Blower Motor horsepower rating ≥ 7.5 hp to ≤ 75hp


See either of the following for more details:
PG&E Agriculture and Food Processing Rebate Catalog (PDF, 4.7 MB) page 4
PG&E Heavy Industrial Rebate Catalog (PDF, 3.8 MB) page 4

Agricultural Irrigation Pump

Adding a VFD to irrigation pumps may enable you to reduce your irrigation system’s operating pressure, thus reducing energy consumed by pumps. Adding a VFD also enables you to vary the flow of water as needed for your irrigation schedules, while providing additional benefits such as soft start capability and enhanced performance of equipment.

Note: We will reduce our Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) rebates for agricultural irrigation pumps in 2018. Apply now and make the most of these incentives.

Rebate CodeDescriptionRebate/Unit Measure


Well Pumps—Variable Frequency Drive, Retrofit and New Construction only (≤ 300hp)

$30/hp/motor (max $9,000)

IR007 (Retrofit) or IR008 (New)

Booster Pumps—Variable Frequency Drive, Retrofit and New Construction only (≤ 150hp)

$30/hp/motor (max $4,500)

See PG&E Agriculture and Food Processing Rebate Catalog (PDF, 4.7 MB) page 14 for more details

Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation

Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) provides automated continuous control over fan speed in response to temperature, optical or infrared sensors that monitor cooking activity or direct communication with cooking appliances.

Rebate CodeDescriptionRebate/Unit Measure


Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation Electric

$500/exhaust fan hp*

See PG&E Food Service Rebate Catalog (PDF, 2.3 MB) page 9 for more details

In addition, there are many other VFD applications that can result in significant energy savings. One example is adding VFDs to a large refrigeration system, which will not only control energy usage but also reduce maintenance cost due to abrupt stress caused at start-up. PG&E customized incentives can be leveraged in this scenario to help offset some of the customer’s project costs. For a complete list of rebates visit