FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
12/20/2011
Marcelyn Love 217/558.1542
Kelly Jakubek 312/814.8198

 Assistance for Lighting Upgrades Still Available through State�s Illinois Energy Now Program

Public Facilities Eligible to Replace Older, Less Efficient Fluorescent Lamps at Current Funding Levels

SPRINGFIELD � Public facilities around the state are eligible for financial incentives through the state�s Illinois Energy Now program to upgrade to more energy efficient lighting prior to a phase out for certain type of fluorescent lamps next year. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity�s (DCEO) State Energy Office.
 
�By offering incentives to make lighting upgrades more affordable, we are helping to ensure our public facilities can spend more resources on direct service instead of keeping the lights on,� said DCEO Director Warren Ribley.

Incentives for lighting upgrades are available to local governments, public schools, community colleges, public universities and state and federal government facilities in the Ameren Illinois and ComEd utility service areas.

The older, less efficient T12 fluorescent lamps will be phased out of production by July 2012 in accordance with the 2010 U.S. Department of Energy mandate requiring that the magnetic ballasts used for the operation of T12 lamps be phased out.  To keep up with federal regulations for energy efficiency, manufacturers will focus their technology and production on much more efficient T8 and T5 fluorescent systems.

Advantages for upgrading to the new T8 and T5 lighting include immediate energy savings of up to 50 percent, improved lighting performance and simpler maintenance.  Illinois Energy Now incentives encourage public facilities to change out their inefficient T12 lighting for the new T8 and T5 standard.  Incentives, provided as grants or rebates, can assist in covering the costs of changing or retrofitting lighting at public facilities to make them more energy efficient. 

Public facilities with older lighting systems still in place, facilities with the highest energy costs or with uncontrolled lighting (lights that stay on all night as opposed to newer motion sensor lighting) are considered the highest priorities for the state's IEN program.

DCEO provides resources and technical assistance to assist in determining the right course of action.  Through its partners, including SEDAC ( www.sedac.org) and the Trade Ally Network, local governments, public schools, community colleges, public universities, federal and state government and businesses receive assistance in planning energy efficiency improvements at existing facilities or enhancing the design for new facilities.

To learn more about Illinois Energy Now incentives for lighting upgrades at public facilities, visit www.illinoisenergy.org.  And for more information on the T12 lamp phase out visit www.connexiones.com/t12-phase-out.