“LED grow lights are more efficient than traditional lighting systems, consuming up to 55% less energy to give the same level of light,” says Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Across Canada, government and utility organizations are offering generous incentives and rebates to growers who make the switch to LEDs, and the benefits are more than simply financial. LEDs improve crop quantity and quality while reducing the energy needs of growers who make the switch. Read on to learn about the rebates and incentives available in your province, and how to take advantage of them.
If you are like most growers, you are always on the lookout for ways to save on energy costs. Using LED lighting in your operation is a great place to start, and your plants will thank you. The IESO’s Greenhouse Energy Profile Study found that LEDs offer two very important advantages over traditional HPS lamps:
“1) LEDs are a point light source with directional output, where HPS lamps emit light in a 360-degree sphere. In other words, LEDs mean more light can be transferred to the plant canopy.”
“2) LED manufacturers can tune the light output to specific parts of the lighting spectrum, enabling greater transfer of photons within the optimum spectrum to the plant canopy.”
Light quality, quantity and intensity can be improved and controlled with intelligent LED lighting systems. When upgrading to technologies like our modular MITRA or fully tunable ELIXIA, growers are able to produce crops with higher yields that consistently look beautiful, taste delicious, last longer and heal better – no matter the season.
Providing incentives to reduce your energy usage is not only better for the environment, but also beneficial for the utilities. It is much more cost-effective for them to reduce energy production than it is to build and maintain additional infrastructure, like power plants and transmission lines. Most utilities have a fund you pay into as a percentage of your monthly bill that contributes directly to rebates and incentives, and your taxes also fund programs that reward energy efficiency.
Rebates and incentives can account for 25-50% of a new technology purchase and 25-100% of a retrofit, so growers can really benefit. These programs come in several forms, but prescriptive and custom are most often applied to commercial horticulture lighting customers:
Prescriptive incentives are a set dollar amount or percentage paid based on equipment type purchased. For example, if you upgrade to LEDs in BC, New Brunswick and the Yukon, 25% of the costs could be covered. While PEI could cover up to 50%. Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario and other provinces are providing a set dollar amount per fixture, as high as $375 per unit. For a breakdown of rebates and incentives by province, including handy contact details, download our 2021 Guide to Canadian Rebates and Energy Savings.
Available in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and most other provinces, custom rebates are often based on a dollar amount given to growers per kWh saved in energy. The amounts range between $0.15 to $0.30 per kWh saved, calculated based on how your old equipment performed and how new LED equipment is projected to perform. To access these funds, you need to provide documentation to back up your calculations and submit it to the utility for pre-approval. It sounds complicated, but we can help. The process does become a bit more complex when applying for a rebate for a new construction using LEDs, since there is no historical data with which to calculate expected savings. But not to worry, we can provide you with a custom LED lighting plan that can be used to calculate energy saved versus using HPS fixtures in the space. To learn more about all the incentives available in your province, download our 2021 Guide.
Important: While considering your options, remember to look for rebates and incentives for installing or upgrading LED lighting controls, not just the lights. Don’t miss the opportunity to reduce costs while implementing smart technology like helioCORE™ that enables you to apply customized lighting strategies for consistently high crop quality and yields year-round.
No matter whether you’re building with LED lights, retrofitting LEDs or upgrading your lighting controls, there are many incentive opportunities available that can help you drive down costs.
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