This is the second in a series of posts designed to help facility managers build a case for spending money on lighting system upgrades.

Another way to justify a lighting system upgrade is to look outward. Benchmarking against similar facilities and finding rebate incentives can strengthen the case.

Be a Competitive Landlord

Comparing your lighting energy to similar size facilities matter if you believe your lighting energy spend is disproportionately high. In the Minneapolis central business district, competition is fierce for tenants with a glut of office space. So showing how a reduction in lighting energy makes the asset more valuable in general and more attractive to triple-net lease tenants in particular, you’ve done the owner a great service. Get a leg up on energy benchmarking and disclosure laws that are likely to evolve. Owners don’t want to discover that their building’s energy use is 20 percent higher than the neighbors after they’re forced to disclose.

Show Them the Money

A third-party that helps pay for all or part of a lighting upgrade is an ideal way to strengthen a return-on-investment (ROI) case: rebates or tax incentives from the local utility, the federal government, or any other organization that offers money for energy efficiency. Apply for rebates early in the justification process, so once you get a commitment letter that spells out the specific work and exact dollars, you’re good to go. Until then, it’s not a done deal.

In some cases the lighting consultant or electrical contractor may take on responsibility for acquiring rebates. That way, if money for the upgrade suddenly disappears, you’re covered. Another suggestion: Check into combined-measure utility rebates since these often increase the rebate percentage for both upgrades. While the project entails more work, the extra work likely makes larger-scale reductions in energy use.

Engineered Products Company Inc. (EPCO) is the premier brand supplier of specialty products to electrical distributors and contractors. Headquartered in Minnetonka, MN (a suburb west of Minneapolis), EPCO has supported the electrical industry since 1976 by supplying a broad range of standard and unique consumables for commercial, industrial, residential and agriculture buildings.