Danielle Stewart has written before about the benefits of energy efficient commercial lighting and how businesses can retrofit with more energy efficient lighting. Here she provides Green Building Elements with a resource for consumers and businesses to help save money.
An excellent resource for consumers and businesses looking for ways to save money is available online at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) can help anyone save money by replacing inefficient appliances and lighting systems with those that are energy efficient or that use renewable energy sources. In many cases, a simple lighting retrofit that makes use of LED lights can save an individual hundreds or thousands of dollars in rebates and other incentives provided by the government, utility companies and nonprofit organizations.
DSIRE was established in 1995 as a project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the website is operated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The information on the website is updated by a full-time staff of analysts who research existing statutes, new legislation, executive orders and public utilities commission orders. Additional sources of information include official websites, newsletters and news articles.
The website provides consumers and businesses with a database of incentives and rebates based on renewable energy and energy efficiency. These incentives are provided by the federal government, state governments, local governments, utility companies and nonprofit organizations. They are organized by state, the organization offering the incentive and the type of incentive.
Types of incentives in the database include the following:
- Tax breaks
Summaries are provided on each incentive, and links are available to supporting documentation, applications and official websites. Contact information is also listed for those who wish to speak or write to representatives directly. In addition, all summaries are printable to be viewed and shared later.
DSIRE is the perfect website to learn how to receive rebates and tax incentives for the simple act of installing a lighting retrofit. LED lights can save homeowners and business owners hundreds of dollars every year in electric use, but the cost of upgrading can be recovered even more quickly by taking advantage of all the incentives in a particular area.
Information on the DSIRE website is updated regularly, and incentives are never included until they have been officially enacted. By omitting pending legislation and policy considerations, viewers can be assured that all information is current. The website also excludes information about vehicles and water efficiency, which makes it easier to find pertinent information on electrical systems, such as lighting.