Making the Most of Utility Programs

Energy Partnering With Utilities Style

 Informing customers about any state or local monetary incentives to make more energy-efficient lighting choices could be a win-win opportunity for your store. 

Lighting Showrooms Local Utility Programs  

Next month, Daylight Savings Time ends and there is more darkness than light in our 24-hour days. This inevitable occurrence is the ideal time to advertise your showroom’s expertise on the latest light sources on the market that provide greater lumens and more energy savings. Take advantage of the programs offered by ENERGY STAR as well as state and community initiatives to build awareness of the new technology out there. 

While customers might come in for CFLs as part of a rebate program, they might leave with an order for a whole lot more as they learn about all of the areas in their homes that could benefit from improved lighting. These rebates and programs are allowing you to get the conversation started about bulbs. Where are the areas of their home that could really use better illumination (i.e. clothes/storage closets, computer areas, craft/hobby tables)? Talk about the advantages of having a long-lived light source such as LED in hard-to-reach applications like foyer fixtures, attic lights, or vaulted ceilings. 

Every state in the country has some sort of utility rebate in place – in fact, Philips Lighting estimates that there are more than 3,000 utility companies out there, each with its own rebate process.  

Local Uiilities Energy Programs

There are those that offer instant rebates, others opt for the mail-in variety, and some even provide “give aways” to consumers. Similarly, different products have different incentives. There are programs that apply to specialty CFL bulbs, CFLs with a pin base, specialty CFLs, CFL fixtures, LED lamps, LED fixtures, and ceiling fans alone plus those with a light kit. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an updated summary of its 2013 lighting programs through ENERGY STAR that breaks down the incentive, the products involved, and the target user (builder, consumer, commercial), plus the deadline for each state-by-state. 

Become familiar with the rebate programs that cover your area and identify which products you carry are eligible. If you feel that your selection offers greater value to the customer who is coming in for one rebated CFL, take the time to educate them on what the numbers (color temperature, lumens) mean and the benefits of each bulb they are comparing. 

What is most important is to amplify the energy-efficiency and energy-savings message that the utilities and ENERGY STAR are emphasizing to consumers and establish your store as the local source for lighting knowledge. 

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