Across North America, governments and utilities are offering generous rebates and incentives to growers who implement energy-efficient LEDs. But time is of the essence. As LEDs become the new normal for horticulture, there will be fewer reasons to provide incentives to switch.
LEDs are receiving wide support from energy makers, because it is less costly to save energy than to build infrastructure, and energy conservation is better for everyone. If you’re wondering how rebates and incentives could benefit your business, comprehensive information on the offers available and how to apply can be found in our Guides for the United States and Canada.
So why make the switch now? In addition to the rebates and incentives currently on offer, switching to LEDs will save you direct costs due to the higher efficiency of LEDs over traditional high-pressure sodium (HPS)and metal halide (MH) fixtures. HPS and MH lamps pull energy from the light and the ballast, so 1000W lamps are actually pulling close to 1100W. LED lights, on the other hand, use only the wattage of the light itself. More importantly, they use less wattage to produce a higher or similar amount of light. Waiting to switch to LEDs will only continue to bring you bloated energy bills.
A large portion of the energy consumed by HPS and MH lights goes to heat radiation – infrared photons that are not photosynthetically active. These photons warm and can overheat the plants and the space around them. Fans and HVAC units are then required to counteract this additional heat, driving up electricity costs. (If your facility requires heat, a heating system that turns on and off, without doing the same to your lights, is much more efficient.)
The lower heat output of LEDs means the HVAC system doesn’t need to work as hard or as often. The plants also transpire less and so require less dehumidification. In the case of cannabis, these factors can reduce your energy usage by 25-56%.
While indirect energy savings using LEDs come primarily from lower HVAC needs, it’s important to look at all savings from your entire system when calculating ROI, including:
- Lower maintenance costs - LEDs don’t need to be removed for servicing/cleaning, and most diodes are rated for 50,000 hours of lifetime.
- Fewer consumables used - LEDs don’t require bulb, ballast or driver replacements.
- Less water used - Plants don’t transpire as much and evaporation of the soil or medium is reduced.
- Lower cooling demand - LEDs radiate very little heat, so energy isn’t wasted on cooling the space and plants.
- Reduced infrastructure needs - LEDs can be placed close to plants, so infrastructure can be smaller and more economical.
While abundant rebates and incentives are available across NorthAmerica, applying for them takes planning. Additionally, many offers are for a limited time, so it’s important to begin the process as soon as possible. See our eBooks for the latest information for the United States and Canada.You might be pleasantly surprised. Rebates per fixture can be in the $200-$350 range, and incentives can cover 25-50% of a new technology purchase and up to 100% of a retrofit. While investigating your options, remember some rebates and incentives cover not just the lights, but also the LED lighting controls, which can ensure you optimize your crops and energy usage all in one go.
A wait and see approach is no longer prudent. As indoor agriculture markets mature, LEDs will become the new status quo and rebates may disappear. This is already happening in some states. Massachusetts and Illinois have adopted LEDs as their baseline for energy codes, and Michigan, Oregon, California and Washington are seriously considering it. But for now, growers in most states and provinces have access to generous rebates and incentives to make the switch. What are you waiting for?
LEDs earn their keep quickly due to energy savings. When you add rebates and incentives to the mix, this can really shorten your payback period – even to within year one. Increasing your energy efficiency and reducing your costs can improve your competitiveness in the marketplace and boost your bottom line. And we can help. We can provide you with the light plan needed to apply for incentives and demonstrate how our lights will save you money while achieving your crop goals.
Global warming and climate uncertainty are making traditional farming increasingly unpredictable. But there is a solution – hedging against climate uncertainty with Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), from traditional greenhouses to vertical farming.
Across North America, governments and utilities are offering generous rebates and incentives to growers who implement energy-efficient LEDs. But time is of the essence.