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Commercial Lighting Program Frequently Asked Questions

Commercial Lighting Program

  1. What is NYSERDA?
  2. What are New York Energy $martSM Programs?
  3. What is the Commercial Lighting Program?
  4. What Does the Commercial Lighting Program Offer?
  5. Who Can Participate as a Business Partner?
  6. What Is the Process to Participate as a Business Partner?
  7. What Projects Are Eligible?
  8. What Criteria Does a Project Have to Meet?
  9. Do I Have to Use a Particular Technology or Brand of Products?
  10. What is a Design Project?
  11. What is a Project Installation?
  12. Can More Than One Partner Receive Incentives for the Same Project?
  13. What Other Incentives Are Available for CLP Business Partners?
  14. Are There Funds to Help Offset Material or Labor Costs?
  15. Where Can I Find Additional Information?

1. What is NYSERDA?

NYSERDA is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, a public benefit corporation established by law in 1975. NYSERDA administers System Benefit Charge (SBC) funds and programs under agreement with the Public Service Commission

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2. What are New York Energy $martSM Programs?

New York Energy $martSM programs are designed to lower electricity costs by encouraging energy efficiency as the State's electric utilities move to competition. The programs are available to electricity distribution customers (residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial) who pay into the System Benefits Charge (SBC) through the following utilities:

  • Central Hudson Gas and Electric
  • Con Edison
  • New York State Electric and Gas
  • National Grid Company
  • Orange & Rockland Utilities
  • Rochester Gas and Electric

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3. What is the Commercial Lighting Program?

The New York Energy $martSM Commercial Lighting Program (CLP) promotes The Right LightSM: effective, energy-efficient lighting solutions that result in better lit spaces, which allow people to see more easily and cost less to operate. The Right LightSM includes providing uniform light at appropriate light levels; glare control through the use of low-glare fixtures; lamps that provide good color rendering; an electric lighting load that is at least 10% less than that allowed by ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2007; a more pleasant working environment; and an improved bottom line.

The Commercial Lighting Program promotes The Right LightSM, effective, energy-efficient lighting by providing training and support through to a network of trained lighting practitioners (Business Partners). NYSERDA's Business Partners that help design and/or install effective lighting these systems in projects in commercial areas spaces that are 1,000 to approximately 100,000 square feet. The program seeks to increase the availability and sales of energy-efficient lighting products, and to educate building owners and managers on the benefits of effective, energy-efficient lighting.

The Right LightSM can help businesses in New York to save 10 to 50 percent on the lighting portion of electricity bills by upgrading their lighting systems. Maintenance costs are lower, because the lighting systems last longer. The Right LightSM improves the bottom line by creating a more pleasant and welcoming environment for a business clients, customers, or patients. The result: Better Lighting, Better Business.

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4. What Does the Commercial Lighting Program Offer?

The Commercial Lighting Program offers lighting practitioners an opportunity to become Business Partners. As a Business Partner your company is eligible to receive:

  • Tools and resources for designing and installing effective, energy-efficient lighting that meet specific needs and provide better illumination;
  • Training sessions on effective lighting design and implementation with additional web based resources;
  • Cash incentives for qualified lighting projects with bonuses for the use of advanced technology;
  • Cash awards for Program competitions based on the number of projects and/or square footage upgraded with effective lighting;
  • Marketing incentives for Websites or other printed materials;
  • Listing on the CLP Website;
  • Incentives to offset costs for professional lighting certification through the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP); and
  • Access to an assigned CLP Account Manager and Technical Specialist.

Additionally, completed projects meeting the Program Criteria will receive a certificate from NYSERDA acknowledging the company's participation in the Program and a letter mentioning your company's role in promoting The Right LightSM.

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5. Who Can Participate as a Business Partner?

A Business Partner may be an electrical or lighting contractor, distributor, lighting designer, interior designer, architect, engineer, energy service company (ESCO), manufacturer's representative, or other lighting decision maker. Each Business Partner company must have at least one CLP trained participant who will serve as the Program contact. The company must sign a Participation Agreement, and submit at least one project within six months of becoming a Business Partner. In return, Business Partners will be listed on the Program website, receive support from a CLP Account Manager and the Technical Specialist, and be eligible to receive Program incentives and awards.

Distributors:
Electrical or lighting supply businesses may participate as a Business Partner. To do so, these entities must maintain a lighting specialist on its staff, must execute a Business Partner Participation Agreement, and complete the Program training.

Electrical Contractors or Contractors:
Electrical contractors or other businesses that perform lighting installations may participate as a Business Partner. To do so, these entities must execute a Business Partner Participation Agreement and complete the Program training.

Energy Service Companies (“ESCOs”):
ESCOs that perform lighting upgrades and installations with agreements to deliver verifiable annual electric energy savings may participate as a Business Partner. To do so, these entities must execute a Business Partner Participation Agreement and complete the Program training.

Architects, Engineers, Lighting Designers, Interior Designers (“Designers”):
To participate as a Business Partner, the business must employ an individual to provide lighting design services and perform such services for a fee. To participate, these entities must execute a Business Partner Participation Agreement and complete the Program training.

Manufacturer's Representatives:
A manufacturer's representative, or other lighting professional who supplies equipment or services to commercial lighting projects may participate as a Business Partner. To do so, these entities must execute a Business Partner Participation Agreement and complete the Program training.

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6. What is the Process to Participate as a Business Partner?

To participate in the Program, start by contacting the CLP toll-free hotline at 1-866-698-8177, or email LightingPartners@nyserda.ny.gov. In order to participate as a Business Partner, the company must have at least one trained person working at the business location. Training can be accomplished through a self-qualification process, or by attending a formal live training. Formal group trainings are done throughout the state, or can be conducted on request by an Account Manager or the Technical Specialist. Once your company has a trained participant, the company must sign a Participation Agreement. The Agreement includes a requirement to submit at least one project within six months. If a project is not submitted within six months, the Business will be removed from the CLP Website and will not be eligible to promote their company as a Business Partner or to receive incentives. However, the company can reapply when they have a project ready.

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7. What Projects Are Eligible?

Commercial, retail, industrial, and institutional lighting projects are eligible. Both new construction and lighting upgrade projects are eligible. The end-user must pay into the System Benefits Charge (SBC). The lighting project (not the building) must be between 1,000 and approximately 100,000sf. The lighting project must use all new fixtures or fixture kits throughout the submitted space. Lamp and ballast replacements are not eligible. The lighting project must meet the program criteria for the space.

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8. What Criteria Does a Project Have to Meet?

In order for a project to qualify for CLP incentives, the lighting and energy criteria must be met. These criteria may change from time to time and most are included in the full project application on the Metrics by Space page.

  • Energy Use: the overall project must be at least 10% below the lighting power allowance (LPA) listed in ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2007 based on the space-by-space method.
  • Color Rendering: the color rendering of index of all lamps must be at least 80 in most space types. Some space types (such as warehouses) are excluded from this criterion.
  • Uniformity: in order to maintain uniform light levels throughout the space, fixtures must be installed within the recommended spacing criteria, and fixtures along the wall cannot be installed more than 1/2 the spacing criteria from the wall.
  • Light Levels: the light levels must be appropriate for the task based on the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recommendations.
  • Glare: The glare control requirements are required for “design projects.”
  • Controls: Effective October 1, 2010, private offices, break rooms, and conference rooms must contain vacancy sensors. Effective February 1, 2011, classrooms, restrooms, and warehouses must contain lighting controls.

The glare criteria are based on luminous intensity as listed in the fixture photometric report. In most areas the luminous intensity cannot exceed 600 candelas at 60 degrees, and in open office areas the luminous intensity cannot exceed 300 candelas at 55 degrees. The glare requirement can also be met by using High Efficiency Low Glare fixtures as defined in the Existing Facilities Program. Some space types are exempt from the glare criteria.

Business partners may receive incentives for a maximum of five (5) projects for the same end-user with multiple buildings. No more than two (2) Projects per Project end user in the same building are allowed.

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9. Do I Have to Use a Specific Technology or Brand of Products?

The Commercial Lighting Program is technology neutral, and does not require the use of any particular brand. However, to meet the program criteria certain restrictions apply. For example, there are criteria for the color rendering ability of the lamps used and restrictions on fixtures to avoid problems with glare in certain applications. Additionally, in order to receive incentives under other New York Energy $martSM programs, products must meet the energy efficiency criteria of those programs. Your CLP Account Manager can help you identify products that will qualify for product incentives.

Light emitting diode (LED) fixtures must be ENERGY STAR qualified (for existing ENERGY STAR categories), or be listed on the DesignLightsTM Consortium Qualified Product List (for existing DLC categories).

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10. What is a Design Project?

Only Business Partner Designers (architects, engineers, interior designers, and lighting designers – businesses that employ an individual to provide lighting design services and perform such services for a fee) can submit a Design Project. An incentive is paid once the Phase I Design is approved. Upon installation of the lighting equipment, and submittal of the invoices, the Design Phase II Incentive will be paid.

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11. What is a Project Installation?

Project installation incentives are paid to contractors, distributors, ESCOs, and manufacturer reps upon the installation of lighting equipment on a qualified project.

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12. Can More Than One Partner Receive Incentives for the Same Project?

Yes, more than one Partner can receive incentives for the same project. Only one Design Company can receive an incentive for a Design Project. However, upon installation of the equipment, contractors, distributors, ESCOs, or manufacturer reps can apply for the Project Installation Incentive. For Project Installation Incentives, up to three Business Partner companies can split the incentive. As an example, the contractor, distributor, and manufacturer rep can split the incentive. Of course, all three companies must be Business Partners.

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13. What Other Incentives Are Available for CLP Business Partners?

In addition to the Design and Project Installation Incentives, the following incentives, bonuses, and awards are available:

  • Qualifying Lighting Technology Bonus
  • Break the Ice Incentive for the first qualified project for contractors or ESCOs:
  • Bonus for Project Installations less than 25,000sf with more than five space types;
  • Bonus for Design Phase II projects with more than ten space types;
  • Cash awards for Program Competitions based on the number of projects or most square footage upgraded with effective lighting;
  • Marketing incentives for Website and or printed materials;
  • Incentives to offset costs for professional lighting certification through the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions.

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14. Are There Funds to Help Offset Material or Labor Costs?

There are a number of New York Energy $martSM programs for both new construction and renovation that offer end users incentives for the use of specific energy efficient products and/or meeting energy efficiency goals. Your CLP Account Manager can help you identify the best Program to meet your needs.

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15. Where Can I Find Additional Information?

To learn more about how you can benefit from the Commercial Lighting Program, contact the Program hotline toll-free at 1-866-698-8177 or by e-mail at LightingPartners@nyserda.ny.gov

For information on lighting opportunities in other NYSERDA programs, contact NYSERDA at 1-866-NYSERDA or by e-mail at info@nyserda.ny.gov

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Last Updated: 08/13/2014