It’s official: energy efficiency is booming. The market (which ballooned to nearly $111.5 billion in 2022) has been spurred by federal, state, and municipal energy efficiency policies that are designed to help businesses save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and meet growing energy demand.
One way those policies translate into action is through rebates.
As an expert contractor, customers expect you to help them navigate the rebate and warranty offerings so they can secure the savings that will make their project financially possible.
Utility Energy Rebates Are Good Policy
The EPA’s National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency was “a private-public initiative to create a sustainable, aggressive national commitment to energy efficiency through the collaborative efforts of gas and electric utilities, utility regulators, and other partner organizations.”
Utilities benefit from offering rebates by reducing energy consumption demand at peak times and ultimately avoiding the need for building additional capacity.
And as it turns out, utility rebates have proven to be an invaluable tool for encouraging customers to upgrade to more energy-efficient bulbs, appliances, heat pumps, and more.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 extended and expanded the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction that was made permanent under Section 179D in 2021. Buildings that increase their energy efficiency by at least 25% will be able to claim this deduction, with bonuses for higher-efficiency improvements.
It’s clear that utility rebates that make energy efficiency projects financially viable are smart policies. Especially given that the EPA estimates that 30% of energy consumed in commercial and industrial buildings is wasted. So, it is in everyone’s interest to make the energy-efficiency marketplace affordable for commercial customers.
That’s where you come in.
How to Maximize Your Commercial Lighting Rebates
Your customers will be looking for your help in getting the best possible ROI from the rebates available.
There are plenty of LED lighting rebates. And while some can be simple to secure, small mistakes or missed opportunities could jeopardize your chances of getting the rebate – and possibly the customer’s business as well.
We spoke with Rachel Bromley, Customer Success Manager with our good friends over at Encentiv Energy, who told us there’s still money being left on the table:
“Overall, we have seen more awareness about rebate programs, but there is still a lot of room for growth when it comes to understanding the programs and the value of rebates. This is where our rebate tools bring a lot of value to manufacturers and their channels as they make the understanding and calculating of rebates very easy.”
– Rachel Bromley, Customer Success Manager, Encentiv Energy
Fortunately, an ROI or payback calculator, like the one Encentiv kindly partnered with us on, is the simplest way to know for sure that you’re getting every possible rebate dollar back to your customers. Here’s how it works:
- Enter the existing fixtures, their operating hours and wattage, your proposed changes, and your labor costs and location.
- Enter your ZIP code, and choose the correct utility to generate utility rebates. This will also help to improve the accuracy of the energy savings calculations, as we’ll pull in your utility’s average C&I electric rate.
- You’ll receive a comprehensive report showing project costs, all eligible rebates, time to payback, time to payback with rebates, and CO2 reduction equivalency.
As you plan your upcoming sales pitches, be sure to include a Payback Calculator Report to seal the deal and so you can take advantage of the rebates available.
Using a calculator is your best way to build out the project scope and present your customer with an accurate and professional estimate that will reflect well on your company.
Lose the Wait: Midstream Rebates
With most rebates, the utility directly pays the purchaser, often after a lengthy process of qualification and approval.
With growing popularity, midstream rebates offer a simplistic model to purchasing with rebates.
In this model, the customer receives the benefit directly from a distributor who then reports sales to the rebate provider and receives their own payment at the end of the month.
The midstream rebate has obvious advantages from the customer's point of view. By reducing the upfront cost and administrative burden of applying for rebates and waiting for approval and payment, it may be easier to get approval for a customer’s lighting upgrade.
From the lighting contractor’s point of view, working with a distributor that offers a midstream rebate program means being able to purchase or recommend energy-efficient lighting at a cost that reflects the rebate.
These midstream rebates are available on our Payback Calculator so you and your customer can see both types of rebates and compare ROI. With this calculator, you’ll have more information about the full ROI available including rebate amount, time to payback (with and without the rebate), and CO2 reduction.
Find the Rebates, Close the Deal
Providing customers with hard numbers on their savings is a great way to secure repeat business and referrals.
Finding those numbers shouldn’t be difficult. And it doesn’t have to be! Our contractor partners have told us how helpful the ROI report generated from the payback calculator is in persuading customers and closing deals.
Again, all you need to do is punch in some information about the existing fixtures, your proposed changes, labor, location and utility, and you’ll get a comprehensive report with project costs, every eligible rebate, time to payback, time to payback with rebates, and CO2 reduction equivalency.
Give it a try now!
The easier it is for you to find and qualify for every possible rebate, the more cost-effective it is for the client, and the more likely it is your energy-efficiency project will get the green light. The result? While their utility bills shrink, you’ll see your business keep on growing.