“Did you know that you can change your lights to LEDs and in addition to saving 50 to 80 percent on your utility bill each month, you can get more money back on top of your savings to help pay for your new lighting?

It sounds unbelievable, but it can happen with energy rebates. These incentives offered by the state as well as local utility companies put cash in your pocket for transitioning to energy-efficient appliances in your home. The funny thing is, very few people actually take advantage of this. In fact, one of the things I could never understand in the many years I have been involved in the energy conservation world is why it was so hard to convince someone to take advantage of their rebates and savings! We are so brainwashed to believe everyone telling us something ‘too good to be true’ has to be a scam that we miss out on some of the easiest ways to save money, especially during tough economic times.

Rebates are available in many forms. There are federal tax credits, city and community rebates, manufactures rebates and utility rebates. Because there are so many different rebates available, it would be impossible for me to explain all of them in detail but I will give you enough information to help you navigate through the rebate waters on your savings rowboat. But it will be up to you to stroke the oars, so here we go!

When it comes to federal tax rebates, a tax credit is generally more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction because a tax credit reduces tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only removes a percentage of the tax that is owed. Consumers can itemize purchases on their federal income tax form, which will lower the total amount of tax they owe the government.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 extended many consumer tax incentives originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) and amended in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-343). Now this act can take days of reading over and over again to fully understand it so I am going to keep it simple and applicable to Commercial Building Lighting.

The Interim Lighting Rule is a slide scale that ranges from 25% of savings for a $.30 per square foot tax cut all the way to a maximum of 40% of savings for a $.60 per square foot tax cut. Warehouses must achieve a 50% reduction in power in order to qualify for a $.60 per square foot tax credit. So generally if you convert your lighting to LED which normally saves 50% or more you may be eligible for a $.60 per square foot tax credit.

Utility and local rebates vary drastically so it would be difficult for me to explain every rebate in every state but check out http://www.dsireusa.org. This website lists all the rebates available in your state.

I am sure you too will be impressed and amazed at all the rebates available. So what are you waiting for? You have budgets to cut this year so why not start with your lighting, the easiest and quickest way to save and get money back from Uncle Sam!