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LEDs (light emitting diodes) are a hot topic as they are an energy efficient alternative to fluorescent and traditional lighting. However, since the cost of the technology is still relatively high, many commercial property owners and managers are looking for every possible financial edge - from rebates to grants - to make the switch.
Private sector companies and non-profit organizations across the U.S. may now submit applications to receive up to $10,000 in grant funds to upgrade to LED lighting through LED Saving Solutions. This program is for the first 1,000 qualified companies to apply. The size of the grant is at the discretion of the applicant but is not to exceed $10,000 or 25% of the total cost of the LED retrofit.
A grant from LED Savings Solutions can reduce the cost of a Phase I lighting retrofit by 25%. So the grant is in effect an LED rebate. As an example, a $10,000 LED retrofit may save a company $7,500 a year or about $625 a month. With the Green Light Grant program, the initial cost of the retrofit drops from $10,000 down to $7,500 and the payback would then come in the first year. The LED tube lights offered by LED Saving Solutions are rated for 80,000 hours - translating to almost a full decade of light at a 24/7 run rate. Therefore, spending $7,500 to save $75,000 over the life of the LEDs would have a 100% Return on Investment (ROI).
There are several ways to qualify for the grant ranging from LEED certification to Solar power installation. Plus membership in ‘Sustainable’ organizations also qualifies. Apply here.
The Program Administrator, Matt Young, said, “We were delighted to see that on the first day we received well qualified applicants. As an example, the first one came from a Corporate Center in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The eligibility was in the LEED/Energy Star certification category, and the request for the Grant is on 25 LED tube fixtures for their parking garage. The facility has existing Metal Halide lamps that typically burn 175Watts each, and the LED replacements burn less than 60 Watts, so the savings is over 115 Watts or 65.7% on each fixture!”
SAMPLE SAVINGS SCENARIO:
Matt Young went on to explain that in this scenario the cost to run the lighting for the existing 24/7 parking garage would be as follows: Existing Fixture Watts (175 Watts x (24 Hours x 365 days)) / 1,000 = Annual Kilowatt Hours X $.14 per kWh. $214.62 per fixture X 25 fixtures = $5,365.50. By comparison the annual cost to operate the 60 Watt LED parking garage fixture is $52.56. With 25 fixtures the annual cost to operate the parking garage is $1,314 vs. $5,365.5. The annual savings on electricity is $4,051.50. Over ten years that’s a savings of $40,515.
SAMPLE COST SCENARIO:
For this example, each of the LED parking garage fixtures cost $475 so with 25 fixtures, the cost adds up to $11,875. Spending that much money to save $4,051 generates a payback in less than three years, without any grants or rebates. By comparison, renewable energy like Solar and Wind often have payback over two decades without the help from incentives, and the post-incentive payback still nets out to 5 to 7 years. With this LED Saving Solutions ‘Green Grant’ Program, the cost of the qualified retrofit comes down to by 25% up to $10,000. So, 25% of $11,875 = a $2,968.75 grant or LED rebate on the technology. In many states the utility companies have not yet rolled out comprehensive rebates for LED lights, so this grant program serves as a bridge. In this sample from the applicant, the net LED cost after the discount to the grant recipient is $8,906.25. With over $4,000 in annual savings, this helps bring the payback down to around two years…with eight more in savings to follow.
Matt Young went on to remind us that, “This sample grant applicant is at the 14 cents per kWh rate that reflects the deregulation costs facing many property owners in their region. We are also working with clients in states that pay over 18 or even 20 cents per kWh, and they stand to benefit even more, with a faster payback. New England states, California, Hawaii, and Alaska all post the highest costs of electricity in the United States, so we welcome applicants from those regions.”