A Guide to Commercial LED Lighting Rebates in 2023

by | Jul 6, 2023 | Lighting Incentives | 1 comment

Commercial LED lighting rebate rates remain unchanged for the second straight year. It’s a change from previous years which saw a 10% – 20% decline in LED incentive amounts. Falling prices on LED products are partially responsible for the decline, however, in 2022, LED rebates only experienced a 1% decrease across all LED product categories.

Rebate amounts are based on product costs. Previously, distributors and commercial customers saw prices drop. The drop in prices triggered a decrease in the amount consumers receive from rebates. When inflation and supply shortages result in rising prices, rebate amounts stay flat from year-to-year. The goal of LED rebates is to encourage consumers to upgrade to energy-efficient lighting systems, with incentives helping to cover some or most of the costs.

An estimated 77% of the U.S. has an active commercial lighting rebate program. Rebates are offered from multiple sources that include the state, nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and utility companies.

These incentive programs often apply to new constructions and upgrades. LED replacements can also qualify for rebates.

2023 Lighting Rebates – Product Eligibility

Commercial LED lighting rebates are available for products meeting the high energy-efficiency requirements for certification from Energy Star and DLC (Design Lights Consortium). These standards are compliant with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Incentives from utility providers and rebate providers will have a list of the requirements LEDs need to meet to qualify.

Some of the requirements can include a specific wattage, shape, warranty, or certification listing.

Commercial LED Lighting Rebates

Prescriptive LED rebates have specific installation requirements. Utility providers may also have custom rebates based on the energy savings you experience as a result of your LED installation.

The Commercial LED Lighting Rebate Process

Claiming LED rebates is not always easy. It’s also time-consuming. Most rebates have a multi-step process that can take several weeks to complete.

Pre-Approval (4 – 5 weeks)

Rebate programs typically take around 22 days to pre-approve your lighting project. It’s a good idea to apply during the project’s planning stages. It helps ensure you receive the highest rebate amount and purchase eligible products.

Here are the steps you need to take for pre-approval.

  • Organize all technical documents
  • Calculate your potential energy savings
  • Prepare and submit the rebate paperwork
  • Schedule a pre-inspection, if required

Incentive Rebate360 takes the hassle out of the incentive and rebate process. We have an experienced staff that specializes in commercial incentive and rebate recovery. To speak with one of our LED lighting rebate specialists, schedule a call that fits your needs.

Installation (8 – 13 weeks)

After completing the pre-approval process, including submitting all necessary paperwork, the installation phase is the next step. This stage of the rebate process is relatively straightforward. It involves installing the approved LED products according to the rebate’s specifications. You must also meet project deadlines, however, you can file for an extension. If you make any design changes, these must be reported promptly.

  • Notify the rebate program if any changes are made to your initial project design
  • Follow all specific installation requirements
  • Complete the project by the deadline
  • File a project extension if needed

Final Rebate Submission (10 – 12)

The final stage of the rebate process involves gathering all documents and invoices relating to the installation. The paperwork is submitted to the rebate program and a final inspection may be necessary. After reviewing the documents, your rebate check will be issued.

  • Organize all invoices and documents
  • Prepare and submit the rebate paperwork
  • Schedule a post-inspection, if necessary
  • Ensure the rebate check is issued

Caps in Rebate Amounts

Rebate amounts vary by program. Some are capped at a specific percentage of the project’s total cost or offer a flat rate. Other program amounts only go up to a certain percentage. However, the amount can be limited by the project’s timeframe.

Note: Most rebate programs have a set amount of funds that can run out with little notice. To ensure you receive a rebate for your commercial LED project, the installation plan must allow for plenty of time to schedule any necessary inspections and pre-approvals.

2022 Rebate Changes

The most significant rebate changes apply to downlights (down 14%) and integrated track lighting (down 10%). These are the first two LED products to receive rebates over a decade ago. The maturity of the rebate program may be the reason for the reduction in incentive values.

Top Rebate Categories

  • LED high bay fixtures: LED high bay fixtures have the highest rebate amount at $122 per light fixture. Typically used to replace HIDs, the fixtures produce a bright light while also reducing energy consumption by 40% to 60%. Rebate amounts vary, depending on light output and wattage. However, the luminaire’s shape rarely affects the rebate.
  • Exterior LED pole lights: Outdoor pole light rebate amounts can be up to $102 per fixture. The type of fixture can affect rebate amounts. For example, screw-in mogul base retrofit options see a $53 rebate. It’s also a good idea to check with the rebate program before starting the project. Some utilities only offer rebates to commercial customers reducing daytime energy usage. It means your outdoor LED lighting is not eligible for a rebate.
  • LED canopy lights: Also referred to as parking garage lights, upgrading your HID or fluorescent lamps to LED fixtures can produce significant energy savings. Rebate amounts average around $96 per fixture.
  • Outdoor wall-mounted LED fixtures: Switching from HID lamps to LED will save you money on energy costs. You may also qualify for a rebate. The average rebate for exterior wall-mounted LED fixtures is $94. Did you know, the DOE estimates only 45.8% of commercial buildings have upgraded their exterior lighting to LEDs?

Did you know there are also lighting control rebates? When combining LEDs and lighting controls, you get additional energy savings as well as rebates form both products. Learn more about lighting control rebates here.

Wattage and Color Adjustable Fixtures

Fixtures that allow you to adjust the light’s color and brightness are becoming more common in commercial spaces. Along with improving working conditions, they may also qualify for financial incentives. In most cases, if the standard light fixture qualifies for a rebate then its adjustable counterpart is also included in the incentive. Standard LED light fixtures will need to have either Energy Star or DLC certification to qualify.

Some areas use prescriptive rebate amounts on a per-fixture basis which includes adjustable lamps. Rebates can also vary when the incentives are based on kilowatts or watts saved. Some fixtures list both the average and maximum wattage. This can affect incentive amounts. Some rebate programs base their incentives on the lower wattage number.

It is always a good idea to research the various rebate programs before installing wattage-adjustable and color-tunable LED fixtures.

Horticultural Rebates are Rising

LED Horticultural or grow lights reduce energy costs and provide a broad range of light spectrums to boost plant yields and increase profit margins.

The number of incentives for horticultural lighting has tripled, and are more standardized in 2022. Instead of being based on kWh saved, the rebate programs are prescriptive, often with set incentive amounts. The programs also have specific guidelines and requirements which makes the application process a little easier.

Even though the number of rebate programs is increasing, the average prescriptive amount is decreasing by an estimated 25% in 2022. The change is a result of new, lower rebate programs for products previously not covered by incentives. However, the average rebate per horticultural lighting fixture is at $102, making it one of the highest rebate programs available in 2022.

Delisting DLC Version 5.0

Almost all LED lighting rebate programs require DCL listings on the products. In June of 2022, the rebate program is changing. DLC Version 5.0 products will no longer qualify for rebates. DLC Version 5.1 went into effect, and it has new efficiency and control requirements for the listed LED products.

Let Incentive Reabte360 Simplify the Rebate Process

Finding, applying, and tracking commercial LED lighting rebates can be a full-time job. Let us simplify the process. We provide turnkey rebate and incentive solutions. We will find and process your commercial energy rebates so you can concentrate on other tasks. Contact us today to get started! Call 480-653-8180, email [email protected], or schedule a call that fits your needs by clicking the button below.

1 Comment

  1. Jessica Aaron

    How do stable LED rebate rates in the face of rising prices due to inflation and supply shortages impact the adoption of energy-efficient lighting systems in commercial sectors?


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