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Avoiding Utility Rebate Rejections
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Planning A Lighting Upgrade? Here are Two Types of Utility Rebate Programs To ConsiderPt. 2: Utility Rebate Programs: Get the Savings You DeservePt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Maximizing Your Lighting Savings With Utility Rebates
No facility manager wants his or her lighting rebate application denied from the utility. Here are a few common reasons facility executives get their lighting rebate applications rejected.
To begin, especially with custom utility rebate programs, don't buy the equipment without checking with the utility first. And definitely don't install the equipment without approval. Worst of all: Installing new equipment and disposing of the old equipment before the utility approves.
"In certain jurisdictions if you have already ordered the equipment, you're out of the program," says Charles R. Goulding, president of Energy Tax Saver's Inc. "It can have pretty harsh results."
The reason utilities won't offer rebates if the equipment is already on order is they want to be able to offer some input on design recommendations, Goulding says.
Another common problem is that rebate programs run dry of funding after the application is submitted. One way to avoid this problem is to call the utility, ask how much funding is available and how many rebate applications are in the queue, Goulding says.
There's another reason to start thinking about lighting upgrades now and applying for rebate programs. New Department of Energy regulations that take effect July 1, 2010 will end the sale of most 4-foot T12 lamps in the U.S. says Goulding.
This means there is not only the potential for replacement T5 and T8 fixtures to be harder to come by, but similarly rebate programs could run dry from all the demand as facilities switch to avoid a lamp shortage.
"It's like musical chairs. You don't want to be the last one standing," Goulding says.