The Right Ingredients for Change
Light Up Philly understands that it is not enough to educate business owners on energy intelligence if they do not have a cost-effective path to act on energy reduction measures. The right leadership, the right discounts on qualified energy saving products, and the right financing programs must all come into alignment for business owners or operators to say “YES” to change. This breakdown below covers the highlights on the right ingredients that are now in play for Greater Philadelphia.
The Right Leadership:
National Recognition: White House Memorandum: President Obama understands that energy reduction is a key to U.S. growth and job creation, “Upgrading the energy performance of buildings is one of the fastest and most effective ways to reduce energy costs, cut pollution, and create jobs in the construction and energy sectors.”
Regional HUB of Energy Intelligence: EEB Hub: The DOE established the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) as an Energy-Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) on February 1, 2011. The Hub goal is to develop the means and methods to reduce energy use in commercial buildings by 20 percent by 2020. The mission is to accomplish the goal through informed people, validated information, and proven technologies. The headquarters of the EEB Hub is The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. The Navy Yard, and Philadelphia region, are the test beds from which the Hub deploys to the nation proven energy-saving whole-building-system solutions and integrated retrofit design and delivery methods.
Local Commitment to Change: GREENWORKS: In Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's January 2008 inaugural address, he pledged to make Philadelphia the number one green city in America. To make good on his pledge, he created the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. Light Up Philly applauds the leadership of Mayor Michael Nutter as well as the leadership of Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown who in 2012 introduced Bill # 120428, to require commercial buildings in Philadelphia over 50,000 square feet to benchmark and disclose their energy and water consumption to the City on an annual basis. The law was approved unanimously by City Council and takes effect June 1, 2013. Benchmarking will be administered by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Light Up Philly believes that benchmarking is integral to success since measurement is the key to management.
The Right Discounts:
SUMMER 2013 Discounts:
Utility Company Rebates: 20%
Federal Tax Incentive: 10%
LED Manufacturer Discounts: 10%
Specialty Grants: 10%
TOTAL Discounts: 50%
These discounts are estimated averages, and total savings are subject to each business. The Specialty Grants are available for Regional Manufacturing Companies + Minority, Women, and Veteran Owned Businesses. For more details, please see The Discount Structure.
The Right Financing:
Lighting Distributors and Value Added Resellers are increasingly offering savings share programs and financing to help business owners and operators say “YES” to LED fixture retrofits. One of the challenges is that many of the financing programs are “On Balance Sheet” and there is a reluctance to incur debt obligations in difficult economic times. The irony of the resistance is that the obligation to pay the utility bill is very real. In most cases the financing for commercial lighting retrofits is structured so that the monthly payment is less than the savings generated by the new energy smart technology.
Here are two innovative new models that may set in motion a new way of thinking about lighting as a means to actually MAKE MONEY vs an expense. Simply, these programs do not require any out of pocket initial expense, so either business or property owners can make extra money from their ceiling. This turns the conversation around in a very positive way as businesses look to add dollars vs incur expenses.