LED Retrofit Rebates & Credits in Missouri: A Comprehensive Explainer

Key Takeaways

  • Replacing incandescent or halogen light bulbs with LED bulbs (called an LED retrofit) can reduce energy consumption by as much as 50-70%, leading to substantial cost-savings for homes and businesses.
  • The state of Missouri (and thus half of Kansas City) has created incentives for businesses to perform LED retrofits and reduce electricity consumption. These rebates and credits are primarily handled by public and private utilities. For Kansas City and the surrounding region, Evergy offers rebates to reduce or eliminate upfront costs for upgrading to LED lighting, making it a no-brainer for any business with considerable lighting needs. With Excel Lighting and Signs many of our LED retrofit customers pay ONLY the cost of labor, with no out-of-pocket costs for hardware.
  • Evergy’s LED rebate program can eliminate a significant portion of LED retrofitting costs, and in many cases, you may be able to upgrade for 10% or less of the normal sticker price. Retrofitting with LEDs can also make you eligible for federal tax deductions of up to $1.80 per square foot on your commercial building.

Learn more about a hassle-free LED retrofit by contacting our experienced team.

What Energy Incentive Rebates or Credits Exist in Kansas City and Missouri?

Though the State of Missouri offers some incentives to upgrade your energy systems, they mostly consist of small, low-interest loans geared toward public facilities. 

Most financial incentives for businesses to upgrade their lighting are handled by utility companies––in Kansas City and the surrounding region, this is Evergy, formerly KCP&L and Westar Energy. These are the largest rebate or credit opportunities for an LED retrofit project. (If you’re looking for a KCPL LED rebate or KCPL business rebates, this is it!)

Evergy also offers cash-back incentives for small businesses looking to upgrade other equipment, including motors and drives, HVAC rooftop units, cooking equipment, and lighting. Likewise, they have a program called Renewables Direct that incentivizes commercial and industrial businesses to offset a percentage of their energy usage by investing in renewable energy projects. 

But if you’re a business in Kansas City or Missouri that operates a warehouse, office, retail store, or a similar facility, what you’re looking for is a way to save money on a large-scale lighting upgrade!

If this sounds like you, Evergy’s LED retrofit program is a great fit, and Excel Lighting and Signs is an Evergy preferred trade ally. This program focuses on reducing the upfront cost of upgrading to more energy-efficient lighting and provides incentives to help you save money in the long-run. In many cases, Evergy covers almost the entire cost of retrofitting equipment alongside a partner like us.

Rather than navigate it alone, as a preferred trade ally we can help you understand the opportunity for your commercial LED retrofit – call to learn more about upgrading your lighting for free (or close to it).

An empty warehouse with lights

LED Retrofit Rebates Explained

Evergy’s LED retrofit rebate program focuses on helping you reduce energy usage and semi-fixed costs. LEDs can also significantly reduce overall maintenance costs. 

In addition to Evergy’s direct rebates, LED upgrades may make your business eligible for federal tax deductions outlined in Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code, which go up to $1.80 per square foot for your commercial building. 

Evergy’s LED retrofit program offers both standard and custom incentives on one-to-one replacements or permanent removal of fluorescent lights. 

For example, you get a $10 rebate on every 4ft T12, T8, or T5 fluorescent light that you replace. 

Additionally, they offer an incentive of up to $275 to retrofit any HID lights with an LED replacement, and also up to $10 on every halogen or CFL light. 

Custom rebates are paid based on the amount of your project’s energy savings. The idea is that you’re encouraged to save energy, and for every kilowatt that you save, you can receive a rebate of up to 35 cents. Yes, it might seem like a small number, but consider the following:

The average energy consumption per square foot for a commercial building in the U.S. is 22.5 kilowatts per hour. According to data from the US Census Bureau, the average warehouse in the US is a little over 16,000 square feet. This could mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings every year depending on the size of your buildings and how many bulbs you retrofit.

A commercial space that could benefit from LED retrofit

How LED Retrofit Incentives Work

In general, programs like the one we’re talking about offer cash-back or rebates on specific installations. These generally are easiest to implement alongside an experienced LED retrofit company, like us.

Programs vary their qualification or eligibility requirements, and some will ask for an energy audit. 

In the case of Missouri LED retrofits, the state has authorized credits that Evergy implements. 

While LED retrofit incentives for Kansas are not yet available, we expect similar rebates to be available through Evergy by the end of 2023 or in early 2024.

It begins with an assessment by a trade ally like Excel Lighting and Signs. We provide a audit of your facilities, understanding how many and what type of equipment you need. 

We then explain the rebates available, and how the costs are broken down. For many of our customers, these LED retrofits are available for a fraction of the actual cost.

If the total anticipated incentive is $15,000 or less, you’ll receive a check directly by mail. 

If your project exceeds $15,000, as is the case for a business with many large warehouses, you will need to acquire pre-approval to purchase retrofit equipment. This is something that we help customers navigate all the time.

Another thing you should know is that Evergy allows you to receive financial help through PACE financing if your business is struggling. They have no upfront costs and offer fixed-rate financing with up to 20-year terms. Keep this in mind when considering your options.

LED Retrofit Savings Case Studies

Let’s imagine a few real-world case studies to illustrate the benefits of retrofitting to LED lighting. Just for good measure, the Department of Energy estimates that in 2018, LED adoption produced cost savings of $14.7 billion. We’ll go through a few typical cases of facilities looking to retrofit their lighting, assuming that all of these pay the Missouri state average of 14 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity.

Case Study 1: Office Building

Take the case of an office building whose interior lighting mainly consists of old incandescent light bulbs. The warm lighting is messing with the productivity of workers, so this company decides to transition to more efficient technology and retrofit their system with LED lights. 

Imagine this building is lit with 200 bulbs of 60w each. The solution would be to retrofit these old bulbs with new LED fixtures whose approximate consumption would be 9W per unit. This would mean a reduction of 85% in energy use and total costs. Assuming this office only functioned for half the day, that could mean a decline from over 52,000 kilowatts per year to a mere 8,000: a $6,000 annual energy bill to just $1,000.

Case Study 2: Warehouse

Large warehouses tend to be lit with high-bay halide fixtures, which consume about 400w. A big facility might need 160 of these fixtures, meaning a consumption of 768 kilowatts every day, which is close to the average monthly consumption of an entire U.S. household. 

The solution here is to replace these fixtures with equivalent LEDs that consume an average of 150w. In this case, the reduction in energy use (and costs) is about 62.5%, meaning that this company could save over $100,000 within the first five years of retrofitting. 

Case Study 3: Retail Store

A retail store decided to retrofit its CFL bulbs and fluorescent T8 tubes with LEDs. 

This is a large facility that uses 60 bulbs and 50 T8 tubes, which consume 20w and 30w respectively. 

The business replaces all of these with LED bulbs and fixtures. The new bulbs consume about 15w and 22w respectively, meaning a 25% decrease in energy use. This store would save over $10,000 within ten years. 

List of LED Lighting Rebates from Evergy

We’ve summarized a list of the incentives that Evergy offers to businesses looking to retrofit their facilities with LED lighting. This list includes interior and exterior lighting, though the focus of this program is on interior lighting systems.

Interior LED Retrofit Incentives by Evergy (2023)

One-for-One Replacements of Linear Fluorescent Lamps

  • 2ft T12, T8, or T5/T5HO Lamp to 2ft LED Linear Lamp: $5 per lamp
  • 4ft T12, T8, or T5/T5HO Lamp to 4ft LED Linear Lamp or equivalent footage: $10 per lamp
  • 8ft T12 or T8 Lamp to 8ft LED Linear Lamp or equivalent footage: $8.50 per lamp

Permanent Removal of Linear Fluorescent Lamps

  • 4ft T12, T8, T5/T5HO Lamp to Permanent Lamp Removal: $9 per lamp
  • 8ft T12 or T8 Lamp to Permanent Lamp Removal: $12 per lamp

HID Replacements

  • HID 150–300W to LED Lamp or Retrofit Kit: $60-$80 per fixture
  • HID 301–500W to LED Lamp or Retrofit Kit: $75-$90 per fixture
  • HID 501–850W to LED Lamp or Retrofit Kit: $125-$140 per fixture
  • HID >850W to LED Lamp or Retrofit Kit: $200-$275 per fixture

Other Interior Lighting Replacements

  • Various incentives for replacing halogen, MR-16, BR/R, PAR, CFL, and incandescent/CFL exit sign lamps with LED alternatives.

Exterior Lighting Incentives

Dusk to Dawn Lighting

  • ≤ 210W Lamp or Fixture to LED Lamp / Retrofit Kit / Fixture: $70 per fixture
  • 211–300W Lamp or Fixture to LED Lamp / Retrofit Kit / Fixture: $110 per fixture
  • 301–500W Lamp or Fixture to LED Lamp / Retrofit Kit / Fixture: $170 per fixture
  • 500W Lamp or Fixture to LED Lamp / Retrofit Kit / Fixture: $300 per fixture

Parking Garage Lighting

  • ≤ 130W Lamp or Fixture to Non-Linear LED: $70 per fixture
  • 131–210W Lamp or Fixture to Non-Linear LED: $90 per fixture
  • 210W Lamp or Fixture to Non-Linear LED: $140 per fixture

Moreover, Evergy also offers the following custom lighting incentives:

  • Exterior lighting with peak demand reduction: 8c
  • Exterior lighting without peak demand reduction: 5c
  • Interior lighting: 10c
  • Interior lighting controls: 7c

FAQs About Missouri’s Lighting Incentives

How long is the payback on an LED retrofit?

Most LED retrofit projects will pay for themselves within 1-2 years. Considering that LED bulbs can last 10 years or longer, this is one of the most impactful capital expenditures your business might consider.

Are there energy rebates for offices in Missouri?

Short answer: yes. All of Evergy’s commercial customers are eligible for a program that offers cash-back incentives for businesses to upgrade to more energy-efficient equipment. This includes everything from lighting to HVAC systems. 

Are there energy rebates for LED retrofits in Kansas?

Evergy offers its services both in Kansas and Missouri, so every incentive that it offers to Missouri businesses is available to Kansas facilities as well. 

Why do Missouri and Evergy offer these credits?

These rebates are partially state-funded, but for Evergy the incentive is bigger. It is much less expensive for Evergy to help pay for retrofits that reduce overall energy use than it is for the company to build new energy plants to cover more energy use.

For Evergy, the cost of LEDs is likely much less than the cost of a new power plant.

Are there any other benefits to LED retrofits other than improving energy use?

LEDs not only consume less energy, but they also take less space, produce less ambient heat, last longer, and are sturdier than their older counterparts. This, in turn, improves cost-savings even more as LEDs require little to no maintenance. 

How can I get free LED bulbs?

With Missouri and utilities like Evergy’s rebates, many businesses actually CAN get free LED bulbs and free retrofits for their Missouri-based business. 

Ready to learn more about LED retrofits in Missouri, Kansas, or Kansas City? That’s what we do all day every day!

Call to learn more about the program, schedule a free on-site evaluation, and get on the path to an increased bottom line today.

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