Many people will procrastinate on filling out paperwork, sometimes to the point of avoiding it altogether even if that means missing out on financial opportunities. Now, horticultural lighting vendor Fluence has drawn attention to a service that it provides to help out with such form-filling phobia.
The Austin, Texas–based LED specialist said this week that it has garnered over $26 million for its customers since 2017 by navigating what can be the bewildering processes of applying for rebates and incentives that many utilities offer for purchasing energy efficiency gear.
LED lighting, of course, generally fits the “energy efficiency” tag. So growers who chose to buy it could often qualify for utility cash-back programs. But securing the rewards can be “nuanced and time-consuming,” noted Fluence rebate analyst Jason Battles. A grower might indeed apply, but “will often not secure the maximum rebate/incentive possible,” he said.
Fluence said in a press release that it does not charge for the service.
“Fluence’s dedicated in-house rebate experts offer rebate and incentive management to all Fluence customers at no additional cost,” the company noted. “The team’s experience with utility companies across North America helps mitigate the typical issues that come up when pursuing rebates. In addition, Fluence’s in-house rebate administrators’ long-standing relationships with utility companies ensure that customers have access to the latest knowledge on U.S. and Canadian rebate and incentive programs without the burden of tracking and applying for these complex opportunities internally. Working with Fluence, customers keep 100% of their rebates to invest directly back into their business.”
Customer Jushi Holdings Inc., a Boca Raton, Fla. cannabis company, benefitted from the service last year in Pennsylvania, as Fluence obtained rebates for Jushi from PPL Electric Utilities.
“Fluence’s ability to work in lockstep with utility partners saved us time and resources, allowing us to focus on the quality of our product and meeting customer demands,” said Josh Malman, Jushi’s vice president of Florida cultivation operations. “The savings we were able to claim in 2022 were crucial to helping us manage our capital expenditure, a value-add to the energy cost savings and efficiencies already inherent in using Fluence’s high-powered LED fixtures.”
While $26 million over 6 years might not seem like a high amount, sums like that could help encourage growers — including small ones — to go ahead and buy LED lighting. Upfront costs can be prohibitive, but rebate programs can sometimes cover up to 100% of equipment costs, a Fluence spokesperson told LEDs Magazine.
Cannabis and other farm operators have slowed their purchases considerably over the last year, sending the horticultural lighting industry into a slump as noted by Fluence parent Signify. Earlier this year, Fluence CEO David Cohen described “monumental changes negatively” in the business as energy prices and other factors undermine the cannabis lighting trade.
Fluence’s rebate update this week is the latest in a series of marketing and educational moves by the business and other LED lighting vendors in an effort to reverse the horticultural lighting slowdown.
MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).