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Utility rebates

Utility rebates can be complex – there are many different types of rebates available for many different products. Additionally, there are over 3,000 utility companies across the nation, each with their own rebate process. Philips Lighting is here to help you with this process. Read our FAQs below and contact your local Philips sales representative to get started.

Why do rebates matter to you?

Rebates matter to you because you are being paid to save.  By implementing lighting measures that reduce the energy used in a given space, you are saving money on your electricity bill.  Utility rebates help to lower the initial acquisition cost of the energy saving measures, which in turn shortens the payback period on investment.

Why do utilities offer rebates?

Utilities set annual energy savings goals that they strive to meet. End user incentives are an energy saving alternative to the much greater capital expense of expanding power plant capacity and infrastructure maintenance. It is often cheaper to pay for rebates than to build a new power plant.

What utilities offer rebates? What products?

There are over 3,000 utilities across the nation, each with their own rebate programs. Rebates are available for lamps, ballasts, fixtures and controls. For example: T8, T5, T5HO, CFLi, LED, CDMi, Allstart, Sensors and Controls, RDL. For detailed information on opportunities in your area, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

Custom vs. Prescriptive Rebates

There are currently two different kinds of rebates, Custom and Prescriptive.

Prescriptive Rebates provide a specific predetermined dollar amount for each fixture or lamp replaced, for example: save $12 / lamp.

Custom Rebates are based on the total energy savings of a specific project, for example, the amount of kWh saved from switching to one technology over another ($0.12 / kWh saved annually).

The typical Custom Rebate process works as follows (please contact your local utility for further details):
  1. Preapproval Paperwork: The measures you are going to implement usually have to be approved by the utility or incentive management company prior to inspections and purchasing.
  2. Pre Audit: Often times the utility, or someone they contract with, will walk through the space to perform an audit on current lighting and determine the different measures that can reduce energy within the given space.
  3. Install: Either done internally, through a utility approved contractor or another certified installer, the light measures are implemented.
  4. Final Paperwork: Submit the final application with the included measures to the utility or implementing body for final approval.
  5. Post Inspection: Similar to the pre audit, a walk through will be done to ensure all the measures in the paperwork were carried out and correctly installed; the implementer of the energy saving project can often be subject to multiple post inspections to ensure the measures remain in place.
  6. Payment:  The utility or implementer will release payment for the energy saving measures conducted by the end user.

Simple Rebate Example

Here is an example of a retailer with multiple locations, who wants to switch from a 35W Halogen MR16 to 7W LED MR16




Current Wattage

35W Halogen MR16


Number of Lamps



Estimated Energy Cost

$0.08 / kWh

$0.08 / kWh

Annual Operating Hours



Annual Energy Consumption

394,520 kWh

78,904 kWh

Hypothetical Lamp Price



Annual Energy Cost



Prescriptive Utility Rebate: $14 / lamp


Total Project Cost: Without Rebate


Total Project Cost: With Rebate


Potential Payback in Years*

1.79 Years

Estimated Annual Energy Savings**


*Payback is based on total project cost with rebate divided by the annual energy savings

**Based on switching from a 35W lamp to a 7W lamp and 4,000 burn hours a year at an electricity rate of $0.08 / kWh

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