Variable Refrigerant Flow Incentives from PSE

by | Jun 27, 2023 | HVAC Incentives, Other Incentives | 0 comments

Did you know schools, retail facilities, and commercial offices may qualify for incentives when they combine Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) with Dedicated Outside Air Systems (DOAS) technology?

VRF is an advanced, multi-zone heat pump with a variable-speed compressor. The compressor is connected to multiple indoor heating and cooling units. DOAS technology uses a heat recovery process to provide ventilation. The heating and cooling functions the components perform are separate from your ventilation supply. The result is a comfortable temperature in the room while reducing energy usage.

What’s Included in Variable Refrigerant Flow Incentives

VRF incentive amounts are influenced by whether your project is a new construction or a retrofit. The efficiency level associated with the DOAS also affects incentive rates. Here’s a look at estimated VRF incentive amounts.


  • Cover up to 100% of eligible project costs
  • $2 per sq. ft. with a minimum of 60% effective DOAS technology

With a minimum of 82% effective DOAS technology, the incentive can increase to 4$ per sq. ft. The VRF incentive may also cover 100% of your project costs on eligible items.

New Construction

  • Cover up to 100% of eligible project costs
  • $0.50 per sq. ft. with a minimum of 82% effective DOAS technology

The higher the efficiency level of DOAS technology, the greater the incentive amount.

How to Qualify for VRF Incentives

Your facility must meet a few requirements to qualify for variable refrigerant flow incentives.

  • Your facility must be located within a PSE electric service area.
  • The building must have a minimum of 5,000 square feet of space dedicated for use as a school, office, or retail.
  • The condenser units in the buildings must be connected to multiple zones. Each unit must have a cooling capacity equal to or greater than five tons.
  • Your installed VFR equipment must meet the Energy Star requirements for Certified Light Commercial VRF Multi-Split Systems.
  • High-efficiency DOAS incentives require a safety factor of 20% to indicate the right size of the VRF and DOAS system to ensure optimal efficiency.
  • After installation, the new system cannot use gas for heating.

Before starting the project, it must be reviewed by PSE personnel. Skipping this step can disqualify your project from the incentive program.

Knowing all of the ins and outs of a particular incentive or rebate can mean the difference in rebate recovery. Often one step missed can completely disqualify your incentive and rebate return. Learn how Incentive Rebate360 takes the hassle out of your incentive process.

How to Apply for VRF Incentives

After filling out and submitting the application, a PSE engineer will review your documents. The engineer is also responsible for coordinating meetings between your team and PSE to go over your project design and specifications. This helps ensure the eligibility of your project. PSE may also make recommendations to increase the project’s energy efficiency. The PSE engineer will also estimate the incentive’s amount.

How Variable Refrigerant Flow Incentives are Calculated

VRF incentives are calculated based on the square footage of the room using conditioned air. Your VRF system must meet all of the qualifications to receive financial incentives.

You may qualify for one or both of the two incentives offered for a retrofit. The first applies to VRF with DOAS systems meeting 2018 WA Energy Codes. Heat recovery effectiveness must be at a minimum of 60% to qualify for this incentive.

The other incentive applies for high-efficiency DOAS and VRF systems exceeding the 2018 WA Energy Code. It requires a minimum of 82% heat recovery effectiveness.

New constructions using VRF with high-efficiency DOAS exceeding the 2018 WA Energy code may also qualify for incentives. The system must have at least 82% heat recovery effectiveness.

Contact Us About Your VRF Incentives

Navigating the various VRF incentives can be confusing. Let us help you with the process. We can help coordinate meetings with PSE and ensure your project design maximizes your energy savings. From finding the incentives to submitting and recovery, we can take care of everything for you.

For assistance with your VRF incentives call us today at 480-653-8180, email [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.


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