Save energy with lighting upgrades and get money back

New lighting technologies are constantly improving and can help every type of business reduce energy consumption, furthering progress toward sustainability goals. That’s why Avista offers lighting incentive programs to help its commercial electric customers make the switch.

According to ENERGY STAR®, “lighting is responsible for up to 17% of all the electricity consumed in U.S. commercial buildings, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to make your lighting more energy efficient.” ENERGY STAR® predicts that “by 2027, widespread use of LEDs could reduce our nation’s electricity use equal to the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants.”*

Brit Stottlemyre, Regional Account Executive at Avista, says, “Lighting is the first place commercial customers should look when trying to identify ways to save.”

According to Brit, some customers use rebates to reduce costs on just a few lamps, while others retrofit entire facilities. “We’ve awarded million-dollar rebate checks and seen savings that exceed three million kilowatt hours per year (worth over $250,000 annually). The savings potential can be immense.”

LEDs emit far less heat than fluorescent lights, saving even more on energy costs because of their reduced impact on ventilation and cooling loads, adds Brit. LEDs can also last up to 15 times longer, which significantly decreases maintenance and replacement costs, especially for those with long operating hours.

 Modern break room at an office building, couches with many light fixtures.

There is also lighting’s positive effect on employee productivity. The right lighting in an office, warehouse or industrial setting has been shown to lower worker fatigue and stress and improve overall mood and health. Increased visibility can also reduce the chance of accidents, especially where forklifts and machinery are being used. Illuminating a business at night can help deter theft, as well.

LED technology continues to advance, offering a variety of customization options. For instance, customers can now tailor lights by intensity and adjust color temperature to create a desirable ambiance and mood.

Interior and exterior lighting, including sign lighting can all qualify for incentives. Avista also provides incentives for lighting, controls, including occupancy sensors, which detect movement and automatically turn off lights after occupants leave a room. (Some controls sense daylight to shut off, say, parking lot lights at sundown.) Lighting controls greatly reduce energy consumption and will extend the lifespan of any lighting.

“Avista rebates have helped many of our business customers pay for new LED lighting systems to conserve energy and support a more flexible energy grid,” explained Brit.

“We offer lighting incentives on projects that qualify to businesses of all sizes and any industry. No project is too big or too small to consider.”

Outside of project qualification, the only eligibility requirement is that the business must be an Avista commercial or industrial customer with a rate schedule of 11 or higher.

Avista offers standard off-the-shelf and custom program options.

The standard option is typically for replacing existing equipment. Pre-approved rebates are offered on items identified by Avista as proven energy savers. A couple examples are upgrades from fluorescent and HID fixtures to LED.

The custom option is for projects that don’t fit Avista’s standard guidelines. Avista’s account executives can coordinate a project analysis for projected energy savings.

While Avista does not make vendor recommendations, many local electricians and lighting contractors can assist in selecting and installing the correct equipment.

Businesses that participate in the standard program do not need pre-approval before purchasing and installing equipment, but they must meet all the program requirements listed on Avista’s incentive agreement.

Customers may hire a licensed electrician to install their equipment or do it themselves. Afterward, with the standard program, they simply complete and submit a rebate application within 120 days of the installation.

“LEDs use approximately 90% less energy to emit the same amount of light as traditional bulbs. Businesses see energy savings right away after completing a lighting retrofit,” says Brit, “I’ve even had some customers tell me that their reduced lighting expenses paid for their project costs in under a year. I highly recommend it to all our commercial customers.”


For more information and a list of products that qualify, go to If you don’t find a rebate that fits your needs, ask your Avista account executive for possible custom options.

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