LED Rebate amounts for 2022 remain flat for a second straight year. Previous years saw LED rebates consistently decline 10-20% each year depending on the product category. A large part of the decline was to match the incentive levels to the falling prices of LED solutions. Last year, LED rebates were flat year over year. That trend continues in 2022, with only a 1% decrease across all product categories. This pattern is attributed to the record number of price increases due to supply chain issues and inflation. The higher rebate values are needed to make the project paybacks favorable enough for reluctant customers who have not yet upgraded. With continuing price increases for materials and labor shortages, rebates will prove especially important in 2022.
Currently, 77% of the US is covered by an active commercial lighting rebate program. The rebates come from multiple sources such as utility companies, municipalities, states, and non-profit organizations. Taking advantage of these programs will save you money on initial project costs and all future electric bills. Whether you are installing lights in a new construction project or an existing facility, you may be eligible for rebates on LED replacements including replacement LED lamps (PAR, MR, A shaped standard bulbs), high bay fixtures, street and parking lot lights, troffers, LED panels, downlights, fluorescent tube replacements, and more!
If you are interested in finding out the rebates available for your project, we can provide free no obligation advice (for commercial projects only).
Lightup.com now offers Rebate Assistant to help you find commercial rebates in your area. Give it a try, or you can call our Wholesale Sales department for assistance at 800-998-6977. Ask to be transferred to Wholesale, or select the Wholesale option when prompted, and a knowledgeable representative will help you determine if your utility has rebates available (commercial installations may qualify).
Get the most out of every project! Check out our Rebate Assistant Tool!
Rebates are available for lamps that meet the high efficiency standards of certifications such as ENERGY STAR® and Design Lights Consortium (DLC), which have standards set in compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency. Each utility company or rebate facilitator will have requirements the LEDs must meet to qualify for the rebate funds. Requirements could include a certain wattage, shape, warranty, or listing (DLC, Energy Star, etc.).
Number of Utilities with Prescriptive Rebates*
|Approximate # of Utilities
|Pin-Based CFL- NI replacements
|Screw in HID (corncob)
|Down Light Fixtures Screw in or hardwired; most rebates limited to lights 15W or less.
|Accent Lighting (Track Heads) hardwired, does not include screw-in lamps/bulbs; most require DLC or Energy Star approvals.
Designed to replace HID and TL in high bay applications.
|Parking Garage and Gas Station Canopy Lights Incentives may differ based on operating hours.
|Outdoor Pole Lighting Generally require DLC listed.
|Outdoor Wall Mount
|Horticulture Lighting (Grow Lights)
Does not include LED tubes.
|Linear LED Tubes Rates and eligibility may vary depending on ballast compatibility.
Please Note: Prescriptive rebates have requirements that the LED installation must meet in order to qualify for the rebate. Your utility provider may also provide custom rebate options reliant solely on the energy saved by your planned LED installation.
The Rebate Process
The process for claiming rebates can be arduous and time consuming. There are 12 steps in the rebate process:
Pre-Approval (4-5 Weeks)
Acquiring pre-approval from rebate programs can take 22 days, on average, in North America. Starting the process early means you're more likely to get the highest rebate available. It is best to seek approval during the planning stages of your LED installation project, before any LEDs are purchased, so you can get the best ones. The tasks you need to do for pre-approval are as follows:
- Gather technical documents
- Run energy savings calculations
- Prepare and submit rebate paperwork
- Schedule pre-inspection where required
Installation (8-13 Weeks)
Once you have completed the pre-approval process, all applicable rebate paperwork is submitted, and your pre-inspection is completed where necessary, you are able to move onto the installation phase of the rebate process. This part is straightforward where you install the product adhering to specific installation requirements and ensure project is completed within the stated timeline. If needed, extensions can be filed. Any changes to the program must be reported in a timely manner.
- Notify program of any changes
- Adhere to specific installation requirements where required
- Ensure project is completed by deadline
- File extension request if required
Final Rebate Submission (10-12 Weeks)
Now that product is installed per the plan, you will need to gather all invoices and documents required per each program and prepare and submit final rebate paperwork. Some places will require you to schedule a post-inspection to ensure it was completed to plan. Once everything is submitted and checks out, the rebate check will be issued.
- Gather invoices and required documents
- Prepare & submit final rebate paperwork
- Schedule post-inspection where required
- Ensure check is issued
Some programs are capped at a certain percentage of the cost of the project, though the program may advertise an offer of a flat rate. Other programs might offer a "up to" a specific percentage of project cost back in rebate, but that can be limited by the payback timeframe of the project.
Important Note - These rebate programs typically have a specific amount of funds to work with and can run out with little to no notice. LED lighting installation must be planned and scheduled in time to allow for inspections and pre-approvals, which vary from one program to the next.
2022 Rebate Notes
The two categories with the most significant change this year were downlights (-14%) and integrated track lighting (-10%). These two fixtures were the first LED product types to receive rebates over ten years ago. Their maturity may be the reason that their rebates are slowly being reduced.
Top Rebate Categories
LED high bay fixtures see the highest average rebate in North America at $122 per fixture. These super-bright fixtures typically replace HIDs and can save anywhere from 40% to 60% in energy. Rebates for high bays can range depending on factors such as wattage or light output but not typically on the shape (for example, a linear high bay would have a similar rebate to a UFO of similar wattage and light output).
Outdoor LED pole lights also offer large rebates up to $102 per fixture! Like LED high bays, LED pole lights emit a lot of light and traditionally use HIDs, you can experience a similar level of energy savings. While there are screw-in mogul base LED retrofit options, those types of retrofits are only eligible for $53 rebate per lamp. Make sure to check with the program you're planning to use as some utilities only incentivize daytime peak demand reduction, meaning exterior lighting is ineligible.
LED Canopy Lights (aka Parking Garage lights) operate constantly in most cases, making it ideal to update to LED. Traditionally, these fixtures use HID or fluorescent lamps making them perfect targets for energy savings by switching to LED. The average rebate for parking garage fixtures is $96 per fixture.
Wall-mounting outdoor fixtures (such as LED Wall Packs) traditionally utilize HID lamps and operate around 4100 hours a year on average. Switching to LED can save a lot of money on energy use. The average incentive for LED wall-mounted fixtures is $94 per fixture. According to the most recent DOE estimate, only 45.8% of exterior lighting has upgraded to LED so far.
Wattage-Adjustable & Color Tunable Fixtures
Field-adjustable LED fixtures have become mainstream on the market over the last couple of years. These fixtures allow the user to set the light level or color temperature upon installation and once set, typically left that way. These fixtures can pose a challenge for rebate facilitators and some question if these fixtures qualify for LED rebates. Generally, if a standard fixture will qualify for a rebate, then its field-adjustable counterpart would also be eligible. The main thing to look for with a standard fixture is an Energy Star or DLC rating to get the rebate.
In areas with a prescriptive rebate amount paid on a per fixture basis, the rebate for a field-adjustable fixture would be the same in nearly all cases. However, the rebates will differ for programs that base their incentives on watts or kilowatts saved. The DLC listing shows reported wattage, the default wattage the fixture will use out of the box, and the maximum wattage the fixture could use. How does the rebate program treat a fixture that lists several wattages? Upon reaching out to some of the major rebate programs in North America, it has been found that some programs, like Focus on Energy in Wisconsin, will consider a lower wattage if you can take a picture of the DIP switch and provide a signed affidavit while others will only use the wattage listed on the DLC listing.
How can I get rebates for field-adjustable LED fixtures? Because each rebate program treats field-adjustable fixtures differently, it is vital to do research before committing to a specific product. This step is even more important if you are planning to use a field-adjustable fixture at one of its lower wattages. For example, if the fixture is set at the lowest setting but the utility company only accepts the maximum wattage as listed on the DLC listing, the fixture would get a lower rebate than it should if the incentive is on a watt saved or kWh saved basis.
Horticulture Rebates Skyrocket
Horticulture lighting (aka Grow Lights) has been an exiting new opportunity for electric distributors, contractors and manufacturers. LED grow lights save energy costs and allow a wider array of light spectrums to increase plant production yields and improve margins.
Incentives for horticulture lighting have been very strong, with the number of rebates tripling in the last year, according to BriteSwitch. The incentives have also become much more standardized in 2022 compared to previous years where rebates for grow lightings were custom, often based on kWh saved. Now, over 60% of the rebates for horticulture lighting are prescriptive rebates which usually set dollar amounts with clear guidelines and requirements making them easier to estimate and apply for.
While the number of rebates for horticultural LED lights grew, the average prescriptive incentive amount decreased by nearly 25% in 2022. This substantial change is attributed to the introduction of new, lower rebates where no previous rebates had existed previously (which drags down the overall average). At $102 average incentive per fixture, horticulture lighting is on of the highest rebate product categories currently available in 2022.
DLC Version 5.0 Delisting
Most of the LED Rebate programs require DLC listing and product must be actively listed on the DLC website in order to qualify for a rebate. DLC Version 5.0 products will be delisted on June 30, 2022 and may not receive rebates after that date. DLC Version 5.1 has new efficiency and control requirements for listed products.
Timeline for pre-approval and rebate check
Due to Covid in 2020, we saw the amount of time to receive pre-approval and to receive checks grow longer. On average, it took 22% longer to get pre-approval (22 days) and 40% longer to get the rebate check (38 days) in 2021. We expect this trend to continue for 2022 so make sure to give yourself enough time for pre-approval before the project begins!
The Rebate Amount is not Always Clear!
The rebate amounts provided on this page are the average across North America. The actual rebate you may see can vary for one fixture type depending on factors such as wattage or brightness (lumens). For example, the high bay rebate for Duke Energy in North Carolina varies from $25-$300 per fixture, depending on what lighting is being replaced.
Information for this article was provided by BriteSwitch. BriteSwitch works hard to capture all eligible rebates and incentives available. They take care of the entire rebate process from analyzing and optimizing the rebate potential to making sure the final checks are issued. Visit them at briteswitch.com.