Where Are the Best Areas for Lighting Rebates?

The number one question we get is, “Where are the best lighting rebates in the country?” This question makes sense. Customers with multiple locations, nationwide distributors and contractors all want to focus on those regions with the highest rebates. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy question to answer because rebates can vary so much. While there’s no clear-cut answer, we can provide some guidance.

The 3 States With the Highest Populations Have the Worst Rebates

In an ironic twist, the three states with the highest populations are the least beneficial for rebates. When people think of green initiatives, California usually comes to mind first. Recently, their commercial lighting programs have dwindled as they have shifted their focus towards energy efficiency legislation rather than providing incentives. Texas’ utility rebate programs are traditionally geared towards large projects and require several extra steps that add complexity for both the customer and the contractor. Florida’s utilities offer slim rebate opportunities; only a few rebate programs are available and their incentive levels are typically low. For instance, one of their incentives for a popular lighting option is as low as $0.05 per lamp.

Generous Northeastern Rebates but With a Catch

Traditionally, Northeastern utility providers have offered lucrative rebates but the process is difficult and the fine print can seem daunting. Rebate applications in this area are typically outsourced to third party organizations, questions are forwarded to call centers and the paperwork is redirected countless times before it’s reviewed. This can make it difficult to follow up on a project and to find out when materials can be purchased or even for which incentive you will be eligible. All these steps also lead to a lengthy pre-approval period, sometimes taking as long as six to eight weeks.

Midwest & Northwest Offer Strong Incentives but Many Variations

Some of the highest rebates can be found in the Mid- and Northwest regions. One challenge is to navigate the many different available rebate programs. For instance, Washington alone has 31 separate rebate programs, similar to Colorado and Minnesota. Each of the utilities’ programs has their own incentive levels and product requirements, so what worked for one location may not be available just one town over.

Areas Where Funding Goes Quicker Than Anticipated

Rebate programs typically have set budgets, meaning that program funding can run out for a few months, a year or indefinitely. Over the past few years, we've seen that between 10 - 20% of the rebate programs nationwide run out of funding at some point. A good example is Michigan where the major utilities have run out of money every year for the past few years. Similarly, some big programs in California, Maryland and New Hampshire have faced the same issue.

See a map of how rebates have changed

The Type of Product Makes a Big Difference

The product being used will influence the dollar amount reflected in the rebate as well. For example, an LED pole mounted fixture rebate can come out to $120 with ComEd in Illinois but for LED tubes the rebate is much smaller at $5 a tube.

Overall, your best option is to thoroughly research your utilities’ rebate programs to find the most profitable opportunities available to you. If you have a project you are considering, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll do all the hard work. Our North American Rebate and Incentive Database captures all the factors mentioned above so that we can maximize your rebates dollars.

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