They Are Here! Smart Engine Block Heater Controller Incentives

Engine block heater controller attached to a vehicle

In cold weather, diesel motors can struggle to start up in the morning. Many motors come with block heaters that use electricity from the grid to preheat the motor for an easier start. Out of habit, many customers plug in the heaters in the evening and let them run all night so that the motor is warm by the morning. This practice is wasteful because these heaters run unnecessarily long, each using several hundred watts. Ideally, heaters only need a few hours, at most, to preheat a motor.

Next, basic timers were added to the block heaters, which were considered an energy efficiency measure. They did allow warmers to run only before they were needed. This practice became common, so it was removed from the incentive offering.

Since several new smart controls have become available for engine block heaters, we’ve had many customers ask about incentives. Pacific Power offers an incentive of $150 or greater under their Small Business Enhanced Non-Lighting program. In addition, there are standard incentives (non-small business under Appliances/Office) of $120 per qualifying unit for vehicle types:

  • Delivery
  • Mass transit
  • School bus

These smart controllers are superior because they use variables such as ambient temperature. Using ambient temperature helps to reduce block warmer run times. When setting preheat times using a block timer alone, you are forced to plan for the worst-case scenario. These smart controllers dynamically adjust schedules to be the most efficient.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with your outreach specialist if you have any customers you feel might be a good fit for this new measure.