June 02, 13
Are There Any Tax Incentives or Rebate Programs for Energy-Efficient Commercial Lighting?
- Are There Any Tax Incentives or Rebate Programs for Energy-Efficient Commercial Lighting?
Replacing old, outdated light fixtures with newer, more energy-efficient lighting can save you a lot of money. Reduced energy costs can add up to a substantial amount of money saved on your utility bills each month. Newer lights are also longer-lasting so you will save money in labor costs because you will not have to pay someone to replace lamps as often. However, replacing all of the lighting in a commercial facility can still be very expensive but to help reduce costs you may be able to find tax credits, tax write-offs, and even rebate programs to help offset the cost.
Federal Tax Incentives
The federal government passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which gave businesses tax deductions to offset the cost of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Those tax deductions were extended by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. These tax incentives were extended again through December 31, 2013. The bulk of the deductions are for things related to saving energy through more efficient heating and cooling but there is a partial deduction of up to $.60 per square foot for “measures affecting: the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems. So you may be able to get some help from the federal government by installing more efficient lighting.
Incentives and Rebates at the Local Level
You’ll have to check with your state to see if there are any tax incentives available in your area and you can also check with your local utility company to see if they offer any rebates for installing more efficient lighting. Many utility companies will offer rebates so it pays to spend some time doing a little bit of research.
As an example, the utility company for much of Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric, does offer rebates for installing more energy-efficient lighting. For high-performance T8 or T5 linear fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts they offer a rebate of $4.50 for each 2 foot lamp installed, $5.50 for each 3 or 4 foot lamp installed, and $9 for each 8 foot lamp installed. They also offer rebates for removing lamps or de-lamping. They offer a $6 rebate for every 2 or 3 foot lamp removed, an $8 rebate for each 4 foot lamp removed, and a $20 rebate for each 8 foot lamp removed.
As another example on the East Coast, Connecticut Light & Power offers the following rebates for T8 and T5 lighting systems. A $10 rebate to re-lamp or re-ballast existing T8 fixtures with new, high-performance, reduced wattage lamps. A $15 rebate to re-lamp or re-ballast existing T12 fixtures with one or two T8 lamps. A $20 rebate to re-lamp or re-ballast existing T12 high output fixtures with T8 lamps and T8 electronic ballast systems. There are also additional rebates for installing new T5 fluorescent fixtures for high bay and low bay applications.
Take a little time to look into what types of rebates are available in your area and you can greatly reduce the cost of upgrading your lighting system and of course upgrading your lighting will continue to pay off month after month for years to come.