How to Apply for Business Lighting Rebates
Financial incentives for lighting upgrades are offered by utility companies across the U.S. to help businesses reduce their energy consumption, lighten their load on the power grid, and save on electricity costs. These rebates are available when businesses upgrade to more energy-efficient lighting systems.
Here are the steps to apply for business lighting rebates:
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
The first step in applying for business lighting rebates is to determine your eligibility. Eligibility criteria for lighting rebates may vary depending on the utility company and the location, but generally businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Must be a commercial or industrial customer
- Must have an active account with the utility company
- Must be upgrading to energy-efficient lighting systems that meet the minimum requirements set by the utility company
If you're not sure if your business qualifies for financial incentives from your utility provider, ELEDLights rebate experts can check your business's eligibility.
Step 2: Choose Eligible Lighting Products
Once eligibility is determined, the next step is to choose lighting products that meet the requirements set by the utility company. While specific requirements for energy efficiency rebates may vary depending on the program, utility provider, or region, there are some common criteria, such as:
- Lumens per watt (Efficacy): Lighting products may be required to meet certain minimum efficacy standards, measured in lumens per watt (lm/W). This metric helps determine how efficiently a light source converts electrical energy into visible light. The higher the efficacy, the better.
- Lifetime and Warranty: Utility companies may have a minimum rated lifetime for lighting product. The lifetime rating indicates the average number of hours a product is expected to last before its light output reduces significantly. Additionally, products may need to come with a certain minimum warranty period. Generally this is 5 years.
- Dimming and Controls Compatibility: Some energy efficiency rebates require lighting products to be compatible with dimming and control systems, which allow users to adjust light levels and save energy.
An easy way to determine if a light or lighting retrofit meets utility criteria is to look for whether the light is "DLC Listed." This refers to Design Lights Consortium (DLC) Solid State Lighting (SSL) Qualified Product List (QPL). The DLC's QPL is a catalog of lighting products that meet specific minimum efficiency and performance requirements.
On the category pages on the ELEDLights site, you can see which lights are DLC Listed by the "Rebate Eligible" icon. Eligible lights will also say "Rebate Eligible" on the product page. The Specifications will also list Certification as "DLC," often the DLC version number the light complies with. (As of this writing, 5.1 is the latest version.)
The Quick Way to Find Qualified Lights
ELEDLights lists all our rebate-eligible lights in an easy-access section of our website: Rebate-Eligible LED Lighting. This page is also accessible through the Find Rebates section of our main menu.
Another way ELEDLights makes it easier to get rebates for your lighting upgrade is by providing rebate estimates right on the product pages of our website. These estimates are for what are called "midstream" or "instant" rebates. To see these, just enter your property's zip code and select your utility provider. If midstream rebates are available, the maximum amount available will display under the price for each rebate-eligible light.
If the instant rebate finder says that no rebates are available for your utility don't worry! Midstream/instant rebates are fairly new, and many utilities aren't offering them yet. However, many utilities offer what are called "prescriptive" rebates. ELEDLights' utility rebate experts can tell you how much your lighting upgrade would qualify for in prescriptive rebates, and we can help you redeem those rebates after install.
So, if our instant rebate finder comes up empty for you, get our help with prescriptive lighting rebates.
Midstream vs. Prescriptive Rebates
The biggest difference between midstream and prescriptive rebates is that midstream rebates are deducted from your lighting order at the time of purchase while prescriptive rebates are paid out by the utility after your new lighting has been installed. Whichever program you qualify for, you will reduce the cost of your lighting upgrade, sometimes quite significantly.
Step 3: Install Your New Lights
After choosing your eligible lights or lighting retrofits, the next step is to install them. It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to ensure proper installation. Failure to do so could impact the light's efficiency or longevity and would likely void the warranty.
Be sure to take before and after photos of the lighting system to document the upgrade. They may be required as proof of installation. Even if they aren't, send them our way! We enjoy seeing and sharing our customers' completed projects. Check out, for instance, these photos of a parking garage upgrade a Philadelphia customer emailed us:
Step 4: Collect & Submit Required Documentation
If you received a midstream or "instant" rebate that was discounted from your ELEDLights lighting order at time of purchase, you'll need to confirm with ELEDLights that your new lights have been installed at the meter address you provided. Make sure you install those lights within the time frame (usually 60 days) you agreed to at the time of purchase. Otherwise you risk being charged the full cost of the lighting.
We find that, with a little planning, our customers seldom have difficulty meeting this requirement.
If you're getting prescriptive (post-install) rebates instead and you haven't gone through ELEDLights to apply for the rebate, you'll need to collect and submit certain documentation to your utility company. The required documentation may vary from one utility to another, but generally you'll need to provide:
- Invoice for the lighting products purchased and installed
- Manufacturer specification sheets for the lighting products
- Before and after photos
If you're having ELEDLights or one of our partners process your prescriptive rebate, we'll handle all the paperwork for you and can also provide you copies of documentation for your records.
Step 5: Receive Rebate
If you were eligible for a midstream or "instant" rebate, you received your rebate when you placed your order for the new lights.
For prescriptive rebates: After the required documentation is submitted, either by yourself, ELEDLights, or one of ELEDLights' rebate partners, you should receive your business lighting rebate within a few weeks. The rebate amount will vary depending on the program and the cost of the lighting upgrades. In some cases, the rebate may be a percentage of the total cost, while in others, it may be a flat rate per fixture.
Leveraging Lighting Rebates for Your Business
Applying for a business lighting rebate is a simple, effective way for businesses to save money on energy costs while also reducing their carbon footprint.
By following the above steps, choosing energy-efficient lighting, and tapping the free rebate expertise available from ELEDLights, businesses like yours can easily leverage utility rebates to shorten the payback period of their lighting efficiency upgrade.
In the end, you get lower bills, longer-lasting lights, and better lighting—all for the lowest possible cost.
Contact ELEDLights to get started with your lighting upgrade today: