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Lighting rebate updates and trends for 2018, according to BriteSwitch

Posted by Brittany Woodard on



BriteSwitch is a company we've partnered with in the past to pass along their resourceful information on lighting rebates. They help businesses across the United States and Canada apply for utility rebates and tax incentive programs. 

This post, originally published on their website, has been adapted for our readers.

LED lighting rebate amounts start to plateau

Historically, rebates for LED lighting have decreased 10 - 20% every year. This year, the rebate amounts have started to level out. The average prescriptive rebate for LED only went down 1% across all product lines. That being said, some specific products saw some big changes as well. LED linear tube replacements dropped by 19% and screw-in HID replacement lamps by 35%. These decreases likely reflect the changing price in the marketplace as the costs of those solutions have also decreased significantly in the past year. In contrast, rebates for LED down lights and linear panels (2x4's) went up 5% and 10% respectively.

Rebates for DLC standard vs. DLC premium

A Design Lights Consortium (DLC) rating has always been important for LED rebates with about 80% of programs requiring it. In 2017, DLC introduced a new "DLC Premium" category. Products must meet higher qualifications and testing requirements in order to be considered for the premium classification.

It’s been unknown how utilities would adapt their programs to this classification. Looking at the current rebate landscape, DLC premium has not had a significant impact. Only a handful of programs require the DLC Premium qualification in order to get rebates. More commonly, programs offer an additional rebate or bonus if using a DLC premium product instead of a standard. The amount is usually an additional $10 to $20 so it doesn't always cover the additional cost of using a premium product. Right now these extra incentives are less than 10% of LED rebates.

Lighting control rebates are still strong

Rebates for lighting controls like occupancy sensors, daylight dimming, etc. are still remarkably strong. In fact, since we have been tracking rebate changes over the past 8 years, rebates for controls are the only category that has not decreased at all. For products like fixture mounted and remote mounted occupancy sensors, the average rebate is still high ($20 - $30) compared to cost and in many cases the rebates make sensors an attractive and cost effective addition to most lighting upgrades.

With the addition of a new DLC category of networked lighting controls, we've seen some programs start to offer more rebates for these systems. Many networked lighting controls are more complex than stand-alone sensors, so other rebate programs are still trying to figure out how to best implement them.

What’s next for lighting rebates? Biax / PL-L Lamps & 8’ tubes

Later this year, DLC will be finalizing its criteria for several popular types of lighting such as 3' tubes, 8’ tubes, and Biax/PL-L lamps as well as up-and-coming technologies such as color tuning fixtures. These categories represent much needed additions where rebates have fallen behind due to lack of a DLC category. These new DLC categories are launching mid-year, so we do not expect widespread adoption of prescriptive rebates until 2019. In the interim, once these products start appearing on the DLC list, there will be potential for custom rebates for these solutions. Custom rebates are generally more complicated to pursue than prescriptive rebates and need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

*This post was originally published at BriteSwitch.com. The information found in this post is not proprietary of Regency.

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