Guide to Utility Rebates for Commercial Clients: What You Need to Know


Are you aware that utility companies give rebates to commercial clients when they upgrade to more energy-efficient lighting? With a little assistance from a rebate administration team, you can get a significant rebate when you use energy-efficient lighting, commercial lighting controls, and other energy-efficient equipment. 

Utility rebates, generally, are not rocket science. However, there are different programs to choose from, which can be confusing, and because many require pre-approval, timing is of the essence. 

In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to know about utility rebates, and how the Energywise Solutions rebate administration team can help you get started in sourcing the best rebate program for you in your city. 

What Are Utility Rebates? 

Utility rebates are an initiative typically mandated by states, and administered by local utilities, electric cooperatives, and associated organizations to support energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy. 

Utility rebates cover energy-efficiency upgrades such as commercial lighting control systems, commercial LED lighting, efficient HVAC systems, Energy Star equipment, etc. Businesses can use these program incentives to reach their energy-efficiency goals and save costs perpetually on gas and electricity.

Benefits of Utility Rebates

As an initiative to reduce energy consumption, you can save a lot of money when you walk the path of energy efficiency. This also encourages you to take a more proactive approach toward energy cost savings for the long term. Utility companies are mandated to reward companies that install energy-efficient equipment like LED lighting and wireless lighting controls by “paying” them for using less energy. 

Utility rebates also promote the clean energy movement by incentivizing businesses that use energy-efficient equipment or renewable energy, both of which have a positive impact on the environment. 

Why Do Utility Companies Offer Commercial Rebates? 

You may be wondering why utility companies encourage people to use less energy because that should mean less profit for them. However, commercial utility rebates are beneficial to both federal facilities and utilities. To meet up with high energy demands, utility providers may need to carry out construction projects to provide additional capacity. This is usually very cost-intensive, and a process that can take an extended period of time to ramp up. A less expensive option is to encourage businesses and households to use more energy-efficient equipment, reducing the strain, or demand, on the overall grid. 

Utility rebates help utility companies reduce the need for expanding power plant capacity and the associated maintenance costs. In the end, everybody wins. 

Types of Utility Rebates

There are different types of utility rebate programs. Some of the most common ones include:

Prescriptive Programs 

The utility company offering a prescriptive program specifies the energy-efficiency upgrade customers must do to qualify for the rebate, and the specific amount they’ll receive in return. For example, your utility provider may offer a prescriptive rebate of $20 per LED troffer. If you install 4 LED troffers in your facility, you may get up to $80 in rebates. 

Either before or after your energy-saving upgrades are installed, you’ll have to file for the rebate and get the installation approved by utilities. This may require a post-inspection process.

In some cases, it may take up to a few weeks to get your prescriptive rebate check. 

Custom Programs

The custom rebate program is where things get a little complicated because it requires more paperwork. Custom rebates, also known as performance rebates, are designed to reward customers per amount of energy saved, that is $/KWh saved. 

This type of rebate program often yields higher rebates and it’s dependent on how the equipment you install effectively saves energy. 

Midstream/Instant Programs

Midstream rebate programs are an initiative to motivate distributors and manufacturers of energy-efficient products to always have energy-efficient products prepared and ready to go. 

With midstream rebate programs, utility managers offer some amount to the distributors of the energy-efficient products so that the distributors can offer the products at a cheaper rate to customers. This way, customers get an instant rebate at the point of purchase. 

How Do You Claim Your Utility Rebates?

Before claiming your utility rebate, you have to check with your utility providers or contact Energywise Solutions to find out if you’re eligible for a rebate. 

The process for claiming utility rebates varies, depending on your state and your utility provider. To get the specifics of how you can claim your rebate, the best option is to contact your utility provider or you can contact Energywise Solutions to do the heavy lifting.

Who Can Help Manage the Rebate Process?

Most times, the company you hire to implement your energy-efficiency projects can help you with the rebate process. Although utility rebates are beneficial, they can be complicated and time-consuming. You need a professional to help you navigate the best rebate program and deal with the entire rebate process on your behalf. 


Utility rebates are a great way to save money and energy, as well as promote a clean environment. Additionally, they may assist in reducing the expense of carrying out an energy-efficient project.

With Energywise Solutions’ rebate administration, you can focus on your business while we take care of the cumbersome and time-consuming rebate process. In the end, you’ll have so much money saved up from rebates and less energy consumption while minding your business. 

EnergyWise Solutions works with architects, engineers, business owners, and contractors to create exceptional spaces with energy-efficient LED lighting solutions, lighting controls, and automated building controls. We support our clients with services that include design, rebate administration, and negotiated utility discounts to guarantee successful outcomes and maximize savings. Our network includes trusted manufacturers of wireless control components and wireless control systems, and our team is experienced in designing, start-up, and commissioning custom energy solutions and control systems for all buildings.

Scott Van Kerkhove is the CEO of Energywise Solutions and writes on topics and issues surrounding the lighting and controls industry, energy management, profitability and sustainability. Find me on LinkedIn – Author: Scott Van Kerkhove