By: Craig DiLouie
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency recently reported that more than $9 billion was available for 2012 energy efficiency rebates and incentive programs. Lighting product rebate programs now cover 70% of the country, with funding growing. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, funding for lighting rebates and incentives is expected to grow 2% to 8% over the next few years.
LED lighting is steadily being adopted in industrial and commercial lighting product rebate programs, with the number of LED programs rising by nearly 25% between January 2012 and the end of 2013, according to BriteSwitch. This trend is expected to continue as LED technology continues to make performance gains and as new LED product categories are added to approved lists such as the Design Lights Consortium’s Qualified Products List. The five most popular LED solutions featured in lighting rebate programs in 2013 were replacement lamps, down lights, track lighting, high-bays, and parking garage/canopy luminaires, according to BriteSwitch. In 2013, LED linear replacement lamps (used to replace T8 and T12 lamps) and pole-arm-mounted outdoor luminaires began to be recognized in some programs.
BriteSwitch reports that lighting rebates vary widely; covering anywhere from 5% to 100% of a project’s cost. On average, the rebate improves the payback period for the company’s customers by up to 20% to 25%. Note that while funding is on the rise for LED, the average rebate per qualifying product type is on the decline—the result of falling product costs (e.g., the average rebate for an LED down light fell from $34 in 2011 to about $20 by the end of 2013). Leendert Jan Enthoven, president of BriteSwitch, said the two biggest obstacles preventing companies from getting rebates is not pursuing pre-approval prior to installation and not using the right products. “A lot of people will install their new lighting and then try to file for rebates,” he said. “In reality most rebate programs have a pre-approval requirement where paperwork must be filed before the installation to qualify for the money “Another obstacle many people face is not using the right products,” he continued. “Most programs have requirements that products must meet to qualify for rebates. For example, if a customer used a non-Energy-Star-listed LED lamp, the project would be automatically excluded from 94% of the prescriptive rebate programs currently available.”
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