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The End-of-Year Utility Rebate Program Tsunami

In January 2017 our system recorded over 450 program changes that include new rebate amounts, new submission guidelines and new product qualification standards.  For example, several programs are changing how they treat linear replacement lamps with more and more of them either not rebating them or are rebating by UL Type (i.e. UL Types - A, A/B, B, C).  One utility in Colorado removed them from their prescriptive incentives and a major utility program in the midwest now has different incentives depending on the UL Type.

The question we get most often is “how does Encentiv keep the program data current?” The answer is that we have built multiple automated tools with sophisticated analytics to monitor and report on any program changes. One of the most valuable features of the Encentivizer™ Platform is the up-to-date utility rebate program data – accessible in real-time for our subscribers. Supporting these tools is a team of analysts who understand the complexities of rebate programs and how they operate. Everything runs pretty smoothly throughout the year until December and January, when hundreds of programs begin the transition to new rules, new rebates and fresh dollars.

Another very interesting trend is measuring rebate amounts based on the lighting efficacy - the efficiency of the lumen output compared to the wattage of the fixture. To calculate these rebate amounts the customer (or their contractor) will need to provide more data about the operating environment, hours of operation as well as more details on the new fixtures.  Encentiv has already modified the Encentivizer calculations to account for these inputs in the programs that are using this approach.

Encentiv is also seeing many programs start to differentiate between the DLC (Design Lights Consortium) Standard criteria versus the DLC Premium. In some programs, DLC Premium lighting products qualify for higher rebates than DLC Standard products, or ONLY DLC Standard OR DLC Premium will qualify for rebates.  See the DLC website for more information regarding the requirements for products to qualify for DLC Premium.

Other changes we are tracking include the shift towards putting more and more products on mid-stream programs (getting the rebate directly from a local distributor) and push for trade allies to use online applications versus editable PDF forms.  Look for more details on these trends in future newsletters.

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Steve Moritz
Steve Moritz
President & CEO, Encentiv Energy

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