How to get someone else to pay for your LED lighting upgrade
In the long run, LED lighting provides enormous benefits to a city or company’s bottom line, delivering huge energy savings, maintenance savings and other benefits—such as decreased crime on city streets and increased productivity in workplaces. In the short term, upgrading to LED lighting can be expensive.
However, there’s a secret weapon in your toolbox that makes LED lighting more than affordable: Other people’s money (OPM). The only thing better than getting a great product is getting someone else to pay for it.
There are numerous opportunities available at the federal, state, and local level for incentives, rebates and tax credits to help offset the cost of switching to LED lights. These rebates and tax credits can shrink the payback period considerably, so you can quickly realize a return on investment.
When Portland, Oregon wanted to upgrade the streetlighting in its historic neighborhoods with Amerlux’s Avista pedestrian light product, they were able to take advantage of rebates from the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy. These rebates reduced the project’s payback period, complementing the 60 percent energy savings Amerlux’s Avista LED delivered.
Here’s where to get OPM to subsidize your LED lighting upgrade, retrofit or new construction project:
A talk with your electric utility company should be your first step in any LED lighting project. Most utility companies offer rebates or some other kind of incentive to upgrade to efficient technology like LEDs. These rebates can influence your purchasing decisions, so it is important to know early in the process what kind of savings are available. Some utilities can even provide design and commissioning assistance to you.
As an added bonus, utilities’ incentive programs are somewhat insulated from politics and are less likely to change with an election, unlike say, tax credits.
Check with your local utility to see what they offer and gain insight about their rebate process.
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
The most comprehensive information source on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University, this online resource is easily searchable.
Energy Star Rebate Finder
Energy Star is a government program managed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, which provides information about energy-efficient products. Energy Star’s Rebate Finder allows you to search for incentives by zip code and by product type.
U.S. Department of Energy
The Energy Department maintains a list of tax credits, rebates and other savings available for a variety of green technologies, including an extensive list for LED lighting projects.
To maximize savings for you, Amerlux designed most of its LED products as either Energy Star-rated or DLC-listed, making them eligible for a variety of rebates and tax incentives based on your location.
For example, retrofit projects with Amerlux’s Avista pedestrian light product are eligible for tax credits under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, in addition to incentives from local utilities.
LEDs can deliver huge savings for your organization and you can even pay for your upgrade with other people’s money to really shorten the payback period.