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Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofts to lighting design

How to find commercial lighting rebates by state

Posted by Nina Frye on


BLOG - Rebates by state

Upgrading commercial lighting can be expensive, especially if you're handling multiple locations. Lighting rebates are one of the most cost efficient ways to jumpstart retrofit projects.
Commercial lighting rebates are often determined by utility companies. There are currently more than 3,000 utility companies in the United States. On top of that, only 77% of the country is covered by active lighting rebates. Programs are constantly changing because of new rules, different levels, incentive deadlines, and amount of funding available.
Trying to find the best lighting rebates across multiple states often involves multiple utility companies. Wading through that paperwork, sifting through research to find the best products, and then going through the tedious process to submit for rebates is time consuming and overwhelming.

That's why we're here to help. Below you'll find three options to find the best commercial lighting rebates by state.

Three options to find commercial lighting rebates by state

If you're interested in reducing upfront costs on a project, rebates are often a great place to start. In some cases, rebates can drastically improve payback on an upgrade.


While rebates can come from multiple sources like utility companies, states, local municipalities, and even some nonprofits, it's often difficult to know where to start.

Here are three options to consider:

1. Search for commercial lighting rebates yourself

If you're willing to dedicate a significant amount of time to commercial lighting rebates, the first option is to look for commercial lighting rebates yourself. Below are three options to find rebates by state.

Energy Star DSIRE Open EI
Energy Star allows you to enter your zip code to find rebates on qualified products. DSIRE has an extensive list of projects that you can filter by state, category, and incentive type. OpenEI also has a list of incentives for energy efficiency. You can sort through the list by available technologies.

Before you consider a program or programs for commercial lighting rebates, make sure you understand how involved the application and approval process is going to be. You may not always have an understanding by simply looking at the program description.

Here's another resource available for research: our top options for calculating energy savings and finding lighting rebates.

2. Work with the utility company directly

This is a great approach for a single location, but if you have multiple locations, working with the utility company directly can end up being a lot to juggle and a lot of time. Plus, if you miss a step, you could jeopardize the rebate.

If you decide to work directly with the utility company, we recommend becoming familiar with the different type of lighting rebate programs. There are three common types:

  1. POS, instant, or midstream lighting rebates - Point of sale, or POS, rebates are often set around specific product types. This kind of rebate is issued when the corresponding materials are purchased, and you'll likely end up purchasing discounted product from a distributor. 
  2. Prescriptive lighting rebates - With prescriptive lighting rebates, the incentives are paid out based on the parameters correlating to the item sold.
  3. Custom lighting rebates - Custom lighting rebate programs offer incentives for projects which do not meet the requirements of the existing instant or prescriptive rebate programs. These can often be complex.

To weigh the pros and cons of three types of lighting rebates, check out more details here.

3. Work with a partner on commercial lighting rebates

To reduce the heavy-lifting, we recommend working with a partner on commercial lighting rebates. We often partner with companies in two ways.

Midstream partner

In some cases we are a midstream partner in a rebate program, meaning the customer can get the lighting they need net of the rebate and not have to handle paperwork.

Rebate partner

In some cases, we work with one of our rebate partners who handles all of the rebates. This works well because the rebate partner knows the programs inside and out, so they have a very high success rate on claiming rebates. They charge a fee, typically based on a percentage of the rebate, but this is generally well worth it.

Finding the right commercial lighting rebate

If you're ready to plan your next project and find a commercial lighting rebate, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are here to walk along side you, no matter how you go about find the right commercial lighting rebate.

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