Public facilities in Illinois are eligible for financial incentives that can help them upgrade to more energy-efficient lighting prior to a planned phase out of certain types of commercial fluorescent lamps beginning in 2012.
The state’s Illinois Energy Now (IEN) program is run by the State Energy Office of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). It offers incentives for lighting upgrades to local, state and federal government facilities, public schools, community colleges, public colleges and universities that can help the facilities decrease energy costs. The incentives are available to government customers served by Ameren Illinois and ComEd.
“By offering incentives to make lighting upgrades more affordable, we are helping to ensure our public facilities can spend more resources on direct service instead of keeping the lights on,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley.
The incentives help offset costs associated with the planned phase out of older, less efficient T12 fluorescent lamps, which will be replaced with more efficient T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps. The fate of T12 lamps was sealed by a 2010 U.S. Department of Energy mandate that requires the phase out of magnetic ballasts used in the operation of T12 lamps. The older lamps will be out of production by July 2012.
According to Illinois Energy Now, the new T8 and T5 lamps will bring immediate energy savings of up to 50 percent in addition to improved lighting performance and simpler maintenance. The incentives, which are provided as grants or rebates, help cover the costs of changing or retrofitting lighting systems, including lamps and fixtures.
The types of public facilities that are considered to be highest priorities for the IEN lighting upgrade program include those with older lighting systems still in place, those with the highest energy costs and those with lighting systems that stay on continuously, referred to as uncontrolled lighting, as opposed to newer systems that are controlled with motion sensors.
The DCEO, with its partners, including SEDAC (Smart Energy Design Assistance Center) and the Trade Ally Network, will provide resources and technical assistance to help determine the right course of action when it comes to planning energy-efficient lighting improvements at existing facilities or enhancing the design of new facilities.
More Information on the Public Facilities Lighting Upgrade Program
To learn more about the Illinois Energy Now lighting upgrade incentives, visit www.illinoisenergy.org.
For more information about the T12 lamp phase out, visit www.connexiones.com/t12-phase-out.
The incentive program has specific contacts for the incentive program based on public facility type:
“State Offers Program for Public Facilities to Upgrade Lighting,” East Peoria Times-Courier, Dec. 20, 2011.
Illinois Department of Commerce and Opportunity, Illinois Energy Office, “Office of Energy and Recycling Programs November 2010.”