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  • Commercial and Industrial Lighting Trends 2023: Towards a Brighter Future

    As conversations around sustainability have intensified, the demand for energy-efficient lighting in the commercial and industrial space has also witnessed a tangible increase. The global commercial LED market has grown from $43.62 billion in 2022 to $53.54 billion in 2023—undeniable proof of the changing times. Coupled with the increase in new environmentally-conscious construction and remodeling of existing facilities, this shift has affected trends in lighting. LEDs are the undisputed future of lighting technology. Having emerged victorious in the LED lighting vs traditional debate, current lighting trends in LED are reflecting the growing importance of sustainability in business. What is the future of LED lighting? Let’s uncover the commercial and industrial trends that can help you turn over a green leaf and cut down on expenses at the same time. 2023 Lighting Trends To Watch Out For Lighting strategies for corporations are no longer motivated by simple necessity. It’s about taking a holistic utilitarian approach that considers energy efficiency, health and well-being, and the aesthetics of public spaces at once. Unsurprisingly, the current lighting trends exemplify these principles. The top trends that are currently defining the future of lighting include: Eco-friendly LED Lights Light-emitting diode (LED) is a technology that converts electrical current into light energy. LEDs are 90% more efficient compared to traditional incandescent lights and CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps)—only 5% of the energy is wasted in the process. Technically, a 36W LED bulb can replace an 84W CFL because the former is just that powerful. So, LED lights consume far less energy compared to other options. In addition, LEDs are powered by semiconductors, which means they are free of harmful heavy metals like mercury that are usually found in traditional lighting. While a standard LED bulb can last up to 25 years, CFLs have a lifespan of only 10 years. Even though incandescent lights or CFLs may cost less compared to LEDs at the outset, you will save more in the long term if you go for the latter. The overall impact of LEDs on the environment is negligible compared to the drastic effects of traditional lighting. The fact that LEDs are one of the top 2023 lighting trends is hardly surprising. Layered Lighting in Work Spaces Next is the concept of layered lighting, which is quickly gaining popularity, especially in shared commercial spaces and co-working offices. In this setup, different types of accent and ambient lighting are being used to create distinctions within the same space. Layering lights can create a calm, peaceful, and relaxing space that feels welcoming and easy to work in. You may not consciously think about it, but lighting affects your mood, performance, cognitive abilities, and, perhaps most importantly, overall productivity. Layered lighting is a trend that can tackle the constraints of present-day mood lighting and improve on traditional office options. Daylight Harvesting Daylight harvesting refers to architectural changes and design adjustments to an indoor space that help make the most of natural light in the daytime. Think French windows, gazebos, skylights, and similar options. The future of lighting technology will ensure commercial and industrial spaces practice daylight harvesting. It promises to offset overall energy consumption and reduce the carbon footprint of public areas that require lots of lighting. Indoor Farming Lights Another interesting 2023 lighting trend is specialized LED setups designed to grow flora and fauna indoors. Indoor farming lights have specific wavelengths that mimic the spectrum of sunlight. In a closed environment, such “grow lights” help with growing and maintaining the health of various plants. Because LEDs are unidirectional light sources that are highly versatile and can be utilized for various uses, indoor farming lights are almost always LED lights. These indoor lighting setups can ensure that there is good quality produce on a mass scale, even in extreme weather conditions. It’s a rather important lighting trend that can prevent food shortages in the future. As you can see, LED lights are dominating the commercial and industrial lighting scene. Used in public parks, schools, workplaces, or indoor farmhouses, LED is emerging as the mainstay of the future of lighting. Consistent efforts in product development are only going to ensure that LEDs gain more efficiency and utility in the coming years. And that’s the best hope for the future of LED lighting technology. Smart Controls Smart Controls Commercial and industrial facilities are taking to connected smart lighting solutions powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation. Having a smart control system that automatically dims and switches lights on or off, depending on occupancy and area requirements, is an exciting development in the future of lighting technology. A connected smart lighting control system can help save energy, optimize overall power consumption, and reduce the harmful environmental impact of commercial lighting solutions. Step Into a Brighter Future with NRG Incentives Going by the trends, it’s safe to assume that the future of lighting technology is going to be more conscious and sustainable than ever. There’s much to do at present to keep up with these changes and minimize your carbon footprint. NRG Incentives specializes in energy optimization solutions in California. We manufacture and deploy cutting-edge LED lighting solutions in commercial areas. We’re dedicated to crafting bespoke solutions that provide the ultimate solution to your lighting needs. We provide end-to-end services, from energy consulting services to innovative lighting solutions in California. We know that a “one-for-one” lighting fixture replacement is neither reliable nor a long-term solution. So, we conduct lighting audits and use 3D modeling to customize LED lighting that fulfills your requirements. Apart from energy optimization projects in California, we also have a utility outreach program through which we help you pay your bills during a crisis. Interested to know what we can do for you? Contact us for a consultation and get a glimpse at what the future of LED lighting holds for you.

  • As California’s Landmark Clean Lighting Bill Comes into Force, Here’s What You Need to Know

    In September 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the AB2208 bill into law. Also known as the clean lighting bill, this landmark announcement has had climate, worker safety, and public health activists celebrating. What exactly does this new law entail? And what are its implications for homeowners, business owners, and those who work in energy consulting services? Let’s take a closer look. What Is the Clean Lighting Bill? Under the landmark lighting bill, California will begin phasing out compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) starting in 2024. The bill was proposed by Assembly Member Ash Kalra and Senator Josh Becker. California became the second state—after Vermont—to pass the clean lighting bill. It aims to reduce carbon emissions and eliminate the safety issues that have been linked to CFLs. While Vermont has banned 4-foot LFLs from 2024 onward, California went a step further and included lamps up to 8 feet in its phase-out. In 2021, the European Union passed a similar law, with 137 governments voting to phase out CFLs by 2025. The Problem with CFLs So why is the banning of CFLs considered one of the most landmark energy optimization solutions in California and worldwide? To understand this, let’s look at these lights and why they are harmful. When CFLs were first introduced, they were considered a game-changer for environmentally friendly lighting. They were much more efficient than traditional halogen and incandescent lights and were designed to last a lot longer, thus generating less waste. This made them one of the most popular lighting solutions in California. But over time, CFLs fell out of favor, much like other traditional lighting solutions. Here’s why: They Emit Harmful Radiation Some studies have suggested that CFLs release small amounts of potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that is undetectable at first, but, over time, may be a cause of concern. This radiation can cause dizziness and lead to eye strain with prolonged exposure. The light emitted also triggers headaches in those prone to migraines and other photosensitivity-related conditions. Research carried out by Stony Brook University goes a step further and claims that the side effects of fluorescent light bulbs—in the worst case—could also include burnt skin cells, premature aging, or even skin cancer. They Contain Toxins Another reason for the phase-out of fluorescent light bulbs is the amount of toxins they contain. CFLs have mercury, which is released into the air when bulbs break. Contact with mercury upon breaking is known to cause several health issues, especially for pregnant women. When bulbs aren’t disposed of properly, this mercury also finds its way into landfills, which pose a threat to the environment and workers who come into contact with it. They Aren’t As Efficient Anymore When fluorescent lights were first introduced, they showed great promise in combating the inefficiencies of traditional bulbs. However, the introduction of LEDs has delivered exponentially higher energy savings in comparison. Most CFLs have a warm-up period of 10 to 30 seconds before they begin to work optimally, which means they are not very efficient. This is especially apparent when they are used on a large scale, such as dozens or hundreds of them illuminating an office space. Frequently turning these lights on and off also reduces the lifespan of these bulbs—leading to more waste in the long run and less than optimal energy usage. CFLs also emit omnidirectional light. This means they light up surrounding areas more brightly than the area just below, which isn’t very practical. They’re Sensitive to Temperature Changes Another drawback of fluorescent lights is that they tend to be dimmer in colder climates and heat up much faster when it’s warm. For these reasons, they aren’t the best choice to light up outdoor areas. The Solution: LEDs Light the Way With fluorescent lights on their way out, LEDs are undoubtedly the future of lighting solutions in California. LED technology has existed since the 1960s, but it’s only in the last decade that people have begun to truly understand its benefits. So, in what ways do LEDs outshine fluorescent bulbs? Almost every characteristic of LEDs has proven to be better for the environment: they are cheaper, longer lasting, and the best choice above CFLs—LEDs are 80% more efficient than their fluorescent counterparts. For a better idea of how this works, take a look at some of these figures: LEDs convert 95% of their energy into light, expending only 5% as heat. In comparison, fluorescent lights convert 80% of their energy into light, while the rest becomes heat. At the same time, LEDs require far less power to provide a consistent output. Advocates of the clean lighting bill say they only need about half the electricity. LED lights also last five times longer than CFLs, meaning much less landfill waste. They don’t contain mercury, nor do they emit harmful UV radiation. All in all, it’s easy to see why LEDs are being pushed as the natural successor to CFLs when discussing lighting in California and why the clean energy bill is such a landmark decision for the state. The Bottom Line One of the sponsors of the clean lighting bill was quoted as saying that the new decision can cut California’s lighting bills by half and protect the state from rolling blackouts. But this would not be possible until more people know about this crucial bill. So, as we begin to phase out CFLs, educating residents on energy optimization solutions in California and encouraging them to make the switch is more important than ever. This is where NRG Incentives comes in. Our lighting company designs, manufactures and deploys custom lighting solutions to meet our clients’ needs. We offer our safe and efficient solutions for homes and commercial properties. With the introduction of the clean lighting bill, our services can help you learn more about energy optimization projects in California and allow you to benefit from various utility outreach services as you make the switch to LEDs. Contact NRG Incentives today and begin 2024 on a green note.

  • Why Is LED Lighting Better Than Traditional Lighting?

    Many people don’t realize how much their choice of lighting affects the environment. Traditional incandescent lighting contributes to 5% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 15% of energy consumption on a global scale. Industrial and commercial facilities that are lit up with dozens or hundreds of traditional lights are unassuming sources of environmental pollution and degradation. It’s more important than ever to sit up, take notice, and make a change. With an unwarranted spike in the price of natural gases and an imminent energy crisis on the horizon, it’s past time to switch from traditional lighting to LEDs. So, LED lighting vs traditional light sources—what’s better and why? The Technology Behind LED Lighting LED is an acronym for light-emitting diode, a device that converts electricity into light energy with the help of a chip-mounted diode. Unlike traditional lighting, like incandescent bulbs or CFLs (compact fluorescent lighting), LED always produces light in the visible spectrum. So, it generates “cold” light with very minimal energy loss in the form of heat. The light that LEDs produce is bright and relatively high in intensity despite being minuscule in size. Energy Saver, the U.S. Department of Energy’s consumer resource on renewable energy, compares LEDs to a “fleck of pepper.” Talk about tiny but mighty. In the grand scheme of things, traditional lights stand no chance against LED lighting because of the following advantages: LEDs are energy efficient: Incandescent lighting loses 90%, and CFLs lose 80% of energy as heat. In comparison, LEDs have a bare minimum energy loss in the form of heat. LEDs are unidirectional: LEDs produce light beams in one specific direction, as opposed to the omnidirectional emission of traditional lighting. So LED technology is ideal for task lighting that many commercial and industrial spaces demand. LEDs are versatile: You can get a range of color options for LED lights. This characteristic is incredibly valuable if you want accent or mood lighting in your space. Or, you can use LEDs to generate white light from the seven colors of the visible spectrum. LEDs are long-lasting: Although the lifespan of LEDs depends on several factors, their rate of degradation is exponentially slower than that of traditional lights. LEDs are cost-effective: Because of their chemistry and longevity, LED lights last approximately 30 times longer than incandescent lights. Clearly, the benefits of LED lights are many. So, in the LED vs traditional lights debate, the former emerges as a winner by a mile. Note that high ambient temperatures can significantly reduce the lifespan of LEDs. Taking this further, temperature-controlled environments, such as a centrally air-conditioned commercial space, can actually enhance the performance and longevity of LED lights. There are so many advantages of LED lighting, and this temperature factor makes LEDs the indisputable ideal energy optimization solution for commercial and industrial spaces. Benefits of LED Lighting: Why You Should Go For It If you have thought about how to make your industrial or commercial space more sustainable and environmentally friendly, you should take advantage of LED lights. And switching from traditional lighting to LED lights better be worth the considerable investment that might go into the upgrade, right? Thankfully, it is. The sheer brilliance of LED lighting is that it promises the following: Improved Efficiency Unlike traditional lights where 80% to 90% of energy is lost as heat, LEDs have excellent thermal control. That’s because they have a highly efficient heat sink design that’s able to dissipate extra heat generated into the surroundings. So, LEDs are far more efficient in converting electricity into light energy and consume considerably less power in the process. Because of these factors, a 9-watt LED bulb can provide as much illumination as a 60-watt incandescent bulb while consuming much less electricity. LED technology is also a very stable lighting source, which is another significant advantage of LED lights. Enhanced Sustainability Because LEDs don’t have ballasts or strikers, they are fairly low maintenance. When installed by experts and used with care, a commercial LED setup requires zero to minimal maintenance and repair. You can easily use LED lights for over a decade or an average of about 14 years. Not only will you easily break on your initial investment in a robust LED system, but you can also save on your utility bills for more than a decade. Furthermore, newer LED models can now be powered by solar arrays and battery packs. So, there is no doubt that LED lights are better from a sustainability perspective. But that’s not all. As mentioned earlier, LEDs are small in size. This means they are naturally resistant to environmental disruptions like shocks and vibrations. This is another one of the many benefits of LED bulbs. Stable Performance LEDs are quite a high-performing lighting option, too. Apart from having a quick “on time,” these lights continue to provide decent illumination even when operating at less than 70% of their optimal capacity. They do not suffer from burnout the way traditional lights like incandescent bulbs or CFLs do. You can enjoy uniform, bright, and comfortable lighting for many years when you have an LED setup. Considering all these factors, the debate about LED lighting vs traditional light sources becomes moot. Clearly, LEDs are the better, smarter, and significantly more cost-effective choice of the two. What matters more is that you choose LED as your core lighting solution and make the switch in your home or office sooner rather than later. Step Into a Sustainable Future with NRG Incentives Are you looking to make the transition to an efficient, sustainable, and long-lasting lighting solution for your industrial or commercial facility? NRG Incentives is here to help. As a leading energy consulting service in California, we provide various services to meet all of your lighting needs. Our energy optimization solutions cover energy consulting and lighting services—we inspect your facility and devise customized systems that will cater to your requirements. We know full well that one-for-one fixture replacement is not a feasible strategy. To learn more about our services or other energy optimization projects in California, contact NRG Incentives today.

  • How Lighting Strategies Can Help Corporations Achieve Sustainability Goals

    In the face of the looming climate crisis, it’s no surprise that energy optimization solutions are gaining utmost importance. Corporations all over the world are looking for ways to minimize consumption and maximize resources. Along with various emission reduction measures and waste management solutions, lighting strategies can make a huge difference. Sustainable lighting can reduce carbon footprints, boost productivity, and lower expenses. How can corporations achieve sustainability goals through something as simple as modifying lighting? Let’s take a closer look. Benefits of Sustainable Lighting Lighting solutions have come a long way in the last few decades. Apart from offering aesthetic value by illuminating spaces, modern light fittings are now helping organizations meet a growing number of sustainability goals. Here are some of the most important benefits of opting for sustainable lighting: Reduced Emissions Businesses looking for ways to reduce reliance on fossil fuels are adopting measures to reduce energy consumption. Modern sustainable lighting solutions fit perfectly into this plan, as they require a lot less energy to produce the same—or, in some cases, higher—output. Lighting accounts for nearly 40% of a business’s energy consumption. And so, by opting for more eco-friendly lighting projects, it can go a long way in achieving its sustainability goals. Increased Lifespan Most modern lighting solutions are designed to last. Individual bulbs and fixtures do not need to be replaced as frequently, so they help reduce overall expenses. Less Toxic Waste Improper waste management can have a grave impact on the environment. Traditional lighting is especially harmful in this regard, as it contains a lot more toxic chemicals than some of the more modern solutions. For example, a traditional fluorescent bulb is said to contain 3 to 30 mg of mercury, which, when discarded improperly, will find its way into landfills. This is something that lighting strategies for businesses must account for—to produce less waste and use little to no harmful substances. Lower Costs By making lighting sustainability a priority, businesses can save on utility bills and minimize costs associated with frequent replacements. Lighting Strategies for Corporations Now that we’ve thoroughly outlined the benefits of modern commercial lighting solutions, let’s take a closer look at what goes into a typical corporate lighting strategy. Energy-Efficient Lighting Traditional lighting not only consumes more energy, but also poses safety hazards, as it comes with a higher risk of fires and more toxic chemicals. LED lighting for corporations has proven to be a game-changer. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) last almost 25 times longer than traditional bulbs while emitting 90% less carbon dioxide. This sustainable lighting solution also uses 85% less energy. Smart Lighting Technology Cutting-edge technology—such as switches that come equipped with automatic motion sensors or daylight harvesting systems—ensures corporations avoid unnecessary energy use. Dimmer switches and light timers have also proven to be exceptionally useful in this regard. Modern smart lighting systems connect to the internet, so they are easily controlled remotely and set to fixed schedules. These sustainable lighting systems can also monitor worker activity, identify areas that are lit unnecessarily, track issues related to fixtures, and ensure timely repairs. Layout Design Modern lighting also takes into account factors related to space optimization. Most energy consulting services will conduct a thorough analysis of a commercial space and develop strategies to maximize the hours of natural sunlight it receives during the day. An open floor plan works best in this regard. The most efficient lighting strategies for corporations also integrate employee behavior, ensuring that high-traffic areas are lit more brightly compared to empty spaces. Depending on the layout of the commercial space, well-thought-out lighting strategies can also determine the ideal brightness levels needed in particular areas, increasing employee productivity while reducing energy consumption. Audits and Assessments A robust, sustainable lighting strategy encourages businesses to conduct regular audits and collect assessment reports of their current solutions. This will help them understand the environmental impact of each individual fitting, identify areas where lighting strategies can be improved upon, and how long they can expect their current fixtures to last. Access to thorough, data-driven reports can also help teams look into replacing traditional lighting solutions with products that are certified to be more efficient and environmentally friendly. Regular Maintenance One of the best ways to enhance lighting sustainability is by putting regular maintenance plans and schedules in place. These plans could involve simply keeping office light fixtures free of dirt and debris to help ensure that they all function at their maximum potential. Proper care and maintenance also confirm that all products are working as they should—this minimizes overall waste and maximizes the company’s investment in these new, more sustainable lighting systems. As mentioned earlier, waste generated by traditional light fixtures could be highly toxic and stay in landfills for decades. This significantly impacts the corporation’s carbon footprint and affects the surrounding community. It is more important than ever to be conscious of corporate emissions and develop actionable strategies in the name of sustainability. The Bottom Line Modern lighting strategies can completely transform a corporate space. They help businesses reduce their reliance on fossil fuels by streamlining energy consumption, promoting crucial concepts like circularity, and reducing the risk of toxic waste. At the same time, sustainable lighting can promote employee productivity—these highly efficient fixtures brighten up a space by reducing flickers and glares. They also give the office a more modern and stylish look. If you’re looking for a company that designs, manufactures, and deploys end-to-end sustainable custom lighting solutions, look no further than NRG Incentives. Our experienced team has worked with many businesses to develop sophisticated lighting strategies that help them achieve optimum performance with a minimal carbon footprint. And that’s not all. We also offer utility outreach services that will help you take advantage of local, state, and federal grants that promote LED lighting for corporations. This can help you save thousands of dollars on utility bills each year. Contact NRG Incentives today to see what we can do for you.

  • Sustainability Shining Through: How Eco-Friendly Lighting Makes a Difference

    In the last decade or so, sustainability has become much more than just a buzzword, especially on the corporate level. As more and more businesses are seriously pursuing lower carbon footprints, the world has turned to various energy optimization solutions. These measures are expected to contribute to emission reduction in the long run. Among these solutions is environmentally friendly lighting. Sustainable lighting solutions take many forms, and they provide undeniable value. A small change can significantly lower carbon footprints. Furthermore, eco-friendly lighting can increase corporate productivity and reduce business owners' expenses. So, just how much of a difference can reducing your light footprint make? And how can we measure carbon footprint saved from lighting? Let’s take a closer look. The Rise of Environmentally-Friendly Lighting Solutions Before we can determine the carbon footprint saved from lighting, it is vital to understand the evolution of lighting solutions. What are the different kinds of lightbulbs, and how do they contribute to emission reduction? Traditional Light Bulbs Also known as incandescent bulbs, they have been lighting up homes and offices for over a hundred years. Unfortunately, they also leave a large light footprint. Most traditional bulbs end up converting only a small percentage of energy into visible light. They are extremely inefficient, especially when used on a large scale. Additionally, traditional bulbs do not last long and must be replaced often, thus increasing expenses and waste. They may also pose a fire hazard as they are prone to overheating. Halogen Bulbs Halogen lights are an upgrade to incandescent bulbs because they last slightly longer. However, as more environmentally friendly lighting solutions are being introduced, Halogen lights have been slowly falling out of favor. Apart from their relatively short lifespans, they also generate a lot of heat. This can increase utility costs, especially in warmer climates. CFL Bulbs CFLs were the first big game changer in environmentally friendly lighting. These bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than halogen and traditional lights, and they were designed to last much longer. To this day, they are a popular option for homes or businesses looking to significantly lower light footprints. But their popularity and efficiency pale in comparison to the most eco-friendly lighting solution available to date: LED lights. Let’s take a look at LED lights environmental impact. The Environmental Impact of LED Lights LED lights are by far the best option for any business or home looking to make strides in emission reduction. They are the most efficient lighting solutions and some of the most cost-effective ways to reduce a light footprint. Here are some factors that make them the ideal choice on a corporate and individual level: They Last Longer As the world looks for more sustainable lighting solutions, LEDs will lead the way. They can last around 17 years, which is ten times longer than traditional options. This durability dramatically reduces the amount of waste generated in the long run. They’re More Efficient LED lights are significantly more efficient, drawing much less energy to produce the same output. In fact, LEDs use 15 times less energy than halogens and three times less than CFLs. This delivers immense financial and environmental benefits for corporations that require large-scale lighting solutions. They Reduce Emissions All lighting options release a certain amount of carbon dioxide into the environment. Traditional light bulbs release up to 4,500 pounds of CO2 every year. By contrast, LED lighting carbon footprint is miniscule, at about 450 pounds of CO2 per year. At the same time, LED lights produce almost no UV emissions. Besides their massive emission reduction benefits, LED lights are also manufactured to be recyclable, greatly reducing material and production costs and contributing to a circular economy. They Are Chemical-Free Traditional lighting solutions, including fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs, contain toxic chemicals like mercury, which are highly detrimental to the environment. This is especially damaging if they are disposed of in areas without proper waste management systems. LED lights do not contain any toxins. This, combined with their longer lifespan and recyclable properties, significantly reduces toxic waste. No matter which way you look at it, the environmental impact of LED lights is much lower than every other option that has come before it. In fact, an Environmental Protection Agency study has shown that switching out all lights in US homes with LED alternatives can reduce emissions by 9 billion pounds. Additional Tips for Sustainable Lighting It isn’t just the bulbs that have been helping reduce emissions. Larger-scale lighting projects have also been using cutting-edge technology to reduce light footprints. Some of these include: Introducing smart lighting technologies that allow businesses and homeowners to control their lighting systems remotely. This could involve fixing schedules or adjusting brightness levels. Energy consulting services also place importance on lighting design and room layouts. In a corporate setting, this includes making the most of sunlight hours or tracking employee activity to adjust lighting requirements accordingly. Regular maintenance can also go a long way in reducing carbon footprints. Removing dirt and debris and replacing broken and old fixtures can significantly improve the efficiency of environmentally-friendly lighting solutions. The Bottom Line When looking to lower carbon footprints, switching out light fixtures doesn’t necessarily strike us as the most obvious solution. But as we’ve seen, even a small change can have a massive impact on reducing emissions. Given the minimal environmental impact of LED lights and the hundreds of new lighting solutions that technology can offer, it is possible to reduce waste, reliance on fossil fuels, and greenhouse gas emissions. If this sounds promising to you, and you want to make the change, look no further than NRG Incentives. Our company designs, manufactures, and deploys end-to-end sustainable custom lighting solutions that are guaranteed to reduce your light footprint. We also offer utility outreach services that will help you make the switch by taking advantage of local, state, and federal grants. Whether you’re looking to benefit from a lower LED lighting carbon footprint or want to learn more about how technology and layout can contribute to emission reduction, contact NRG Incentives today.

  • How Lighting Upgrades Can Impact Commercial Property Insurance in California

    It can be tricky to parse the complex ins and outs of commercial insurance in California. What does it cover? What are the requirements? How does a company calculate premiums? These frequently asked questions don’t always have the most straightforward answers. But things get even murkier when considering Tenant Improvements and Betterment (TIB) coverage. In this case, there can be uncertainty over insurance obligations or on whose shoulders the responsibility of long-term maintenance falls on. In this blog, we discuss business insurance in California, break down TIB coverage in simple terms, and learn how measures like employing commercial lighting services can impact insurance claims. Understanding Commercial Property Insurance in California This type of insurance provides coverage for a physical office or retail space, as well as all fixtures within, such as lighting, furniture, or inventory, of a business. A property-related commercial insurance policy protects establishments from the effects of disasters like wildfires or windstorms. It also provides coverage against theft and vandalism, and in some cases, could even extend to damage caused by water or hail. This kind of insurance does not cover certain natural disasters like earthquakes, mudslides, or floods, which are quite common in California. Companies that operate in specific risk areas will need to seek out supplemental policies. While this type of insurance is not required by California law, business owners do not take it for granted because of the benefits it provides: It covers the cost of damage or repairs. It covers lost income in case of closure due to a calamity. This includes moving and relocation costs as well as employee wages. Commercial insurance could help a business owner secure a loan more easily. Commercial or retail insurance is often a requirement for certain lease agreements. What Is Tenant Improvements and Betterment Coverage? Tenant Improvements and Betterment is the one area of commercial or business insurance that needs to be better understood and usually has landlords and business owners at loggerheads. TIBs refer to modifications or upgrades a business owner makes to the property they have leased from a landlord. These improvements are paid for by the business owner, but the ownership is transferred to the landlord when they move out. After all, these upgrades to the property cannot be removed without causing significant structural damage. The most common forms of Tenant Improvements and Betterment include partitions, new ceilings or floors, and fixtures like commercial lighting upgrades. The TIBs could be insured by the landlord or tenant, provided the lease clearly states which party is responsible. Usually, these upgrades are covered by the landlord under a commercial property policy. However, in some cases, when the lease states otherwise, TIBs will have to be insured under the tenant’s property policy. No matter who is responsible for covering upgrades, these improvements significantly impact the value of the building. Hence, they affect commercial insurance requirements. Let’s take a look at how changes in lighting systems can affect insurance policies. How Lighting Can Impact Premiums and Claims Lighting is one commercial improvement that can greatly influence insurance coverage and premiums. Opting for energy optimizing solutions can increase the value of a property and protect the tenant’s investment, especially when they are included under Tenant Improvements and Betterment coverage. Lighting upgrades carried out by experienced professionals can impact premiums in the following ways: It reduces risks: By upgrading to more energy-efficient and newer fittings, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of fire and electrical hazards. This could result in lower insurance premiums. It’s newer: The age of light fixtures can significantly impact an establishment’s insurance policy. Fittings that have reached the end of their life will cost more to insure, while newer ones will net lower premiums. It increases security: Well-lit commercial establishments have a lower risk of theft and vandalism. Insurance providers may consider this a proactive measure to improve the safety of a business and adjust premiums accordingly. It’s installed by a professional: Lighting heavily relies on a building’s existing electrical systems. When improvements are made by professionals, the insured has additional protection against potential damage. It increases property value: Along with improving aesthetics and functionality, energy-efficient lighting solutions also increase a property’s value. The commercial insurance policy could be revised accordingly. Make the Most of Lighting Upgrades with NRG Incentives Now that we’ve outlined the impact commercial lighting upgrades can have on insurance policies and the intricacies of business insurance in California, it’s time to take action. If you’re looking for lighting solutions that lower your expenses and open your business up for better insurance coverage, look no further than NRG Incentives. At NRG Incentives, we design, manufacture, and deploy top-notch lighting solutions across California. With our knowledge, attention to detail, and commitment to customer service, we have the answers for all your lighting-related queries. So, whether it’s questions related to utility outreach, our energy consulting services, or general information about commercial insurance requirements, don’t hesitate to contact NRG Incentives today.

  • How Businesses Can Set Sustainability Goals To Build a Better Future

    Faced with a looming climate crisis, a number of new government regulations, and an unending struggle to strike a balance between economic growth and social good, sustainability has gone from being a bonus for businesses to an absolute necessity. Corporate sustainability could be defined as a collection of strategies that a company employs to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. It’s a way for a corporation to ensure that it delivers its goods and services in a manner that supports economic growth while also being environmentally sustainable. It could involve taking steps to reduce carbon footprints, eliminate wasteful practices, and stimulate employee development. Partnering with a company like NRG Incentives—one that prioritizes efficient and sustainable lighting solutions—is one way to do so. Sustainability doesn’t just refer to incorporating environmentally friendly practices. It also includes setting long-term economic and social welfare goals. This article outlines the critical elements of sustainability for businesses and how to achieve them. The Three Pillars of Corporate Sustainability Before we get into the value of sustainability on a corporate level, let’s take a look at exactly what falls under this broad umbrella. Only when the relationship between environmental, economic, and social sustainability is understood can you truly see the importance of sustainability in business. Environmental Sustainability Businesses should always be on the lookout for ways to reduce their carbon footprints. This is especially important in 2023 and beyond, as climate change becomes more of an omnipresent threat. This form of sustainability could involve improving transportation management systems, looking for greener alternatives for materials, or implementing energy optimization solutions. Making business processes greener is an important responsibility that must be delivered to the larger community. Additionally, these improvements will become factors that draw in more customers and spur innovation. For these reasons, environmental sustainability is arguably the most important element of overall sustainability. Economic Sustainability This refers to corporate practices that encourage long-term economic growth while closely considering their environmental, social, and cultural impacts. It involves striking a balance between financial gain and helping the environment and community grow. Some examples could include embracing renewable sources of energy, promoting fair trade, or managing resources more judiciously—such as looking out for practical commercial lighting solutions. Economic measures should work in tandem with environmental sustainability to ensure that companies take a step toward saving the planet while keeping an eye firmly on their bottom line. Social Sustainability The third pillar of corporate sustainability is all about managing the impact of business operations on people — stakeholders, employees, and the community. This could include focusing on workers' rights as an essential part of company growth, encouraging philanthropic activity and utility outreach, and ensuring every step of the supply chain runs on the tenets of sustainability. This step is essential to building a corporate sustainability strategy, as it encourages managers and employees to be more productive and creative. It also boosts your business’s reputation within the community. The Benefits of Sustainability in Business As we’ve established, a robust strategy to integrate sustainable practices on a corporate level will help businesses thrive. It can also impact employee morale and improve brand image. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of sustainability in business: Reduced environmental impact: When corporate sustainability goals focus on minimizing waste and optimizing processes to preserve resources, companies can help reduce the impact of the climate crisis. Improved reputation: Setting sustainability goals for business operations make customers more likely to choose your product or service over your competitors. Improved employee retention: Workers are more inclined to trust and work for a company that understands the importance of sustainability in business. Reduced costs: By developing economically sustainable models, business processes will run more smoothly, thereby reducing operational costs. Better compliance rates: By setting a thorough corporate sustainability strategy, companies can follow government regulations more effectively. These measures could also lead to certain tax breaks and benefits. Increased resilience: Companies that show a greater commitment to sustainability are better equipped to handle changing markets, supply chain issues, and global threats like climate change. How To Create Sustainability Goals For Your Business Sustainability goals vary depending on a business’s practices and long-term targets. It should involve multiple considerations and the input of many employees, managers, and stakeholders. Here are some examples of what a corporate responsibility strategy could focus on: Energy efficiency: Companies could begin by considering systems and technologies that can leverage renewable energy sources. By engaging with energy consulting services, they could also develop a game plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and keep utility bills low. Resource management: Businesses looking to streamline expenses and reduce their environmental impact could also look at ways to conserve resources, such as water and other materials while keeping waste to a minimum. Supply chains: Every step of the supply chain can benefit from more sustainable practices. Businesses could start working towards their goals by employing better sourcing policies and promoting transparency in the supply chain. Employee engagement: When developing a corporate sustainability strategy, it is important to consider the benefits of getting all employees on board with the plan. It empowers workers when their voices are heard, and management teams gain more ideas for how to create sustainability goals for your business. Conclusion: Strategize Your Sustainability Goals With NRG To craft the perfect corporate sustainability goals, you need to ask yourself what does sustainability mean in business. Once an organization understands the three pillars and formulates its plans accordingly, it can truly reap the benefits. It takes just a small shift in priorities—going from chasing short-term profits to fostering an environment of eco-innovation—for corporations to increase profits and productivity, and improve their brand image. At NRG Incentives, we believe cutting energy costs and improving environmental performance is a critical step to achieving all your corporate sustainability goals. Contact NRG Incentives today to learn about the several cost-saving strategies that we can help you implement.

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint with Lighting Solutions: Exploring the Role of Energy-Efficient Lighting

    Energy efficiency is the need of the hour. On an individual level, and especially for businesses, it is more important than ever to keep the environment in mind when making choices. Mindful business design, energy conservation, and sustainable lighting solutions will pave the way to a healthier planet and a brighter future for the next generation. The significance of integrating energy efficient lighting systems in residential and commercial buildings to help reduce carbon footprint is immense. Traditional lighting methods, such as incandescent bulbs, contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and damage the environment. Beyond the environmental benefits, energy-efficient lighting holds immense potential for financial savings, especially so on the commercial front. To this end, customized lighting solutions are a crucial aspect of energy efficiency. Tailoring lighting according to specific needs and preferences enhances comfort and productivity. It also maximizes energy savings. In many ways, sustainable lighting design holds the key to energy efficiency. Understanding Carbon Footprint: Lighting's Impact on the Environment Carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) generated from regular activities. For businesses, this is measured by adding up all the direct and indirect emissions of their daily operations—energy consumption, fuel consumption (vehicles, heating systems, etc.), waste facilities, etc. Energy consumption on a commercial level is one element that businesses have control over. Sustainable solutions for utilities can be easy to implement. For example, lighting is an essential aspect of business operations. However, traditional systems, such as incandescent bulbs, consume fossil fuels and contribute to carbon emissions. Generating electricity from non-renewable sources also releases CO2 into the atmosphere. It exacerbates climate change and environmental degradation. Energy-efficient lighting solutions play a crucial role for enterprises to reduce carbon footprint. Building Blocks of Energy Efficient Lighting Systems Energy-efficient lighting options are designed to minimize energy consumption while providing the needed amount of illumination. Here are some critical elements of sustainable lighting solutions: LED Lighting LED lights are some of the most energy-efficient lighting options available today. LEDs consume significantly less energy than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Needless to say, this results in reduced carbon footprint and electricity usage. LED bulbs also have a longer lifespan and do not need frequent replacements. This leads to significantly less waste generation. LED technology has advanced tremendously over the years and has become the most affordable and suitable choice for residential, commercial, and industrial lighting. They are undoubtedly the ideal light bulbs to reduce carbon footprint. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) CFLs are also energy-efficient lighting solutions, especially in comparison to incandescent bulbs. They consume around 70% less energy to produce the same amount of light. CFLs have a longer lifespan and can fit into standard light fixtures. That said, CFLs contain a small amount of mercury. As such, proper recycling measures should be followed to prevent environmental contamination. Smart Lighting Systems These systems utilize advanced technology, such as occupancy sensors and automated controls, to optimize energy consumption. They adjust lighting levels based on occupancy, daylight availability, and time of day, so lights are on only when needed. By reducing unnecessary energy use, smart lighting systems are critical to reduce carbon footprint. Customized Lighting Systems Tailoring lighting according to specific needs enhances comfort and productivity. It also maximizes energy savings and reduces light footprint and light emissions. This promotes a highly efficient working environment and minimizes energy waste. Energy-efficient customizable lighting is the best solution for businesses that want to optimize energy usage. It is part of sustainable lighting design that will benefit workers, managers, business owners, and, most importantly, the environment. NRG Incentives: Unlock Holistic Energy Efficient Lighting Systems Upgrade to state-of-the-art commercial lighting solutions to enhance illumination, reduce energy consumption, and lower maintenance costs. Unlock significant energy savings and reduce carbon footprint with NGR Incentives cutting-edge energy optimization solutions. We begin all partnerships with comprehensive energy consulting services for valuable insights and recommendations to optimize your lighting. Reducing energy consumption, promoting sustainable manufacturing and disposal practices, and embracing renewable energy sources can significantly mitigate our environmental impact, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future. Contact NRG Incentives today and take the first step towards optimizing energy usage, reducing costs, and embracing sustainable lighting design.

  • Futureproofing Your Business Against CPUC Rate Increase

    Electric rate increases are jeopardizing California’s clean and equitable energy goals. All three Investor Owned Utility (IOU) providers, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDGE), and Southern California Edison (SCE) are pushing for electric rate increases. Although the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is yet to greenlight them, other utility providers are hiking their rates to keep pace with IOUs. In fact, average utilities cost in California have seen a massive 68% rise in costs between 2019 and 2023 in areas under the service of IOUs. Meanwhile, businesses sourcing electricity from non-investor owned utility providers have also seen a 25% increase in spending. There’s no denying that electric costs going up, and no consumer or business has escaped these effects. The California Conundrum: What’s Happening? California’s frantic pace to achieve its clean energy goals was well-intentioned. But it led to the rapid closing of traditional power plants. While this marked a shift towards cleaner, greener, and renewable power sources, it had a downside. The state did not have the infrastructure to utilize renewable sources to their full potential. Then there came COVID. As offices shut down, these foundational flaws remained undetected. After all, there was enough power to cater to limited commercial demand. Post-pandemic, utility providers felt the pinch in using natural resources to generate power individual and commercial entities experienced electric costs going up. Natural gas, in particular, saw a 300% price hike in 2023. California’s dated transmission and distribution structure also intensified the problem. The situation snowballed, with utility providers pressing for an increase in tariffs. What Electric Rate Increases Means for Businesses If implemented, PG&E’s rate increase will result in a 3.3% rise in commercial electric rate increases for small and medium businesses. Big businesses will have a 6.4% increase. All commercial institutions can expect a 7.8% increase in utility bills if CPUC approves this electric rate in California. And this is just one of California’s three key IOUs. SCE and SDGE have also come forward with demands. This isn’t the first time that rising utility rates have become a cause of concern for grid-tied users in California. The problem is, the future of all ratepayers is at greater stake than ever before. Even other options, like CCAs, municipal utilities, or direct access, cannot help businesses make significant savings. The underlying causes of the commercial electric rate increases are complex. There’s no magical solution that can reverse its debilitating effects overnight. So imagine the ramifications future rate increases could have on any business, especially ones with high energy consumption, such as manufacturing. The only way to escape the brunt of rising commercial electric rate in California is to futureproof your business’s energy dependency. How Businesses Can Manage Electric Rate Increases Businesses must assess their energy needs and reduce dependence on the grid. This involves extensive research, analysis, and planning to overcome unique challenges and implement energy optimization solutions that drive tangible results. Downsizing overall consumption and shifting to energy-saving alternatives can help. For example, lighting makes up 17% of the total electricity consumption in commercial buildings. Optimizing utilities and switching to renewable sources can cut down on expenses. Installing a robust solar system and investing in a solar storage unit can help enterprises produce and store enough electricity for future use. This will help maximize resources and make the most of the initial investment. NGR Incentives, an energy consulting service can help futureproof businesses against commercial electric rate increases in California. Building An Energy Efficient Future with NGR Incentives NGR Incentives is dedicated to helping you cut down operating costs and improve your bottom line through strategic energy optimization. We offer two types of services you can avail of independently or as an end-to-end solution to the increase in commercial electric rate: Customized LED Lighting We specialize in crafting bespoke LED lighting solutions that maximize productivity while reducing energy consumption. LEDs are 90% more energy efficient than traditional bulbs and last 25x longer. With the least carbon footprint of all lighting options currently available in the market, LED offers 50% to 70% energy savings. LED is the way to go for any business looking to cut down power consumption without compromising on utilities. The best part is that our commercial lighting solutions can be retrofitted into old offices and warehouses or installed in newly-constructed spaces. Share your requirements with us, and we will offer the most efficient option. Energy Consulting We will analyze your energy usage data to identify consumption patterns and create a strategic plan that cuts down on utility excesses. Your unique requirements will inform our approach, and we offer customized solutions to all clients. If you’re keen on understanding your energy needs and taking a proactive approach to your expenses, book a consultation with us. Make the Most of Commercial Electric Rate California is all set to experience another wave of utility pricing changes. Given the current state of affairs, the future is sure to be more expensive. Before the average utilities cost in California skyrockets and impacts your bottom line, futureproof your business. Create a strategy with enough potential to fulfill your immediate and long-term requirements. Contact NRG Incentives today for energy optimization solutions that make a difference.

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