Advanced Lighting Controls and Utility Incentives

February 3, 2016

Over the past couple years we have seen LED technology expand exponentially throughout the industry. Rebate programs have adopted new LED technologies and are continually adding new measures to both prescriptive and custom programs. So what’s next? Advanced lighting controls seem to be the next big thing.

As many of you know, the Design Lights Consortium (DLC) list was developed as a way to help define high performing products. Most utilities now require that LED technology is DLC listed, or on another approved product list. To date, we’ve mainly seen LED fixtures and kits on this list. However, the DLC list is expanding to including advanced lighting controls. This raises the question: How will this affect utility incentives for this upcoming technology?

In my opinion, there are both pros and cons to DLC coming out with a Qualified Product List for controls. On one hand, it may limit the number of control systems you can choose if you want to receive an incentive. However, having this list may also help streamline some utility programs and may shift this technology from custom to prescriptive.

To date, we’ve seen this application fall under the custom program most often. With that often comes extensive requirements, and in some cases, measurement and verification. Having things shift to prescriptive may speed up the timeline for utility approval and possibly eliminate some of the headache when it comes to applying and obtaining utility incentives.

EMC’s Incentive and Technology team will be monitoring the DLC list to see how this impacts advanced lighting control options and utility incentives.

Katie Quam is Energy Management Collaborative's Manager of Customer Incentives. In this role she utilizes her knowledge of incentive programs nationwide to expedite the application process and secure maximum incentive dollars for EMC customers.