What About Prop 39?
California’s Proposition 39, otherwise known as “ The California Clean Energy Jobs Act,” re-routes income tax to a general fund (for 5 years starting in 2013) that earmarks about $550 million/year for eligible projects that improve energy efficiency in schools. Eligible schools request funding by submitting an energy expenditure plan application to the California Energy Commission, which approves plans and works with the CA DOE to distribute funds. The Energy Commission will help you through the process, and we are more than happy to accelerate the process by helping you work on your energy expenditure submission plan as there is limited time to receive Prop 39 appropriated funds for your school/local educational agency (LEA).
So what do LED lights have to do with Prop 39?
Prop 39 is all about increasing energy efficiency in schools. LED lights are one of the quickest ways to achieve this, as they have one of the shortest payback periods for the funds that Prop 39 deploys to schools. They make a point of this on page23 of their FAQ here. Specifically, under the lowest payback periods mentioned in their documentation, the best category contains all lighting (with 2 out of the 3 being LEDs). Lighting projects with approximately two-year payback:
Replace incandescent light with compact fluorescent or LED lights. Convert incandescent/CFL exit signs to LEDs. Replace 32-watt T8 fluorescent lamp with 28-watt T8 fluorescent lamp.
Which schools are eligible to receive Prop 39 funds?
California LEAs are eligible. These are public school districts, county offices of education, charter schools, and state special schools. Private schools are not eligible. LEAs are defined as a “local educational agency which can be a county office of education, school district, or charter.”
Statutory deadline: 6/30/2018 Last date to submit energy expenditure plans to the Energy Commission: 8/1/2017. More deadline info here.
Of course, we would love to help you upgrade your school to LED lights and can help with a lot of the Prop 39 questions as well. You can ask us questions here and we will do our best to answer them. As for Prop 39 itself: Prop39@energy.ca.gov and toll-free Prop 39 hotline at 855-380-8722.
You can also hire us to be your ‘energy manager’ at no cost to your school
(From page 16 of the Prop 39 FAQ): Can an energy manager be a private consultant?
Yes. An energy manager may be either an LEA employee or a private consultant.
Is funding for energy managers only available during the first year?
For the first year, FY2013/14, LEAs may use Proposition 39 planning funding for an energy manager. For years two to five, 10 percent of each annual award is available for an energy manager. This funding may be requested each year on an energy expenditure plan.
Is there a database LEAs or schools can use to find qualified providers for the various services including energy audits and benchmarking?
The Energy Commission is not aware of an existing database and cannot recommend vendors or contractors.
Can an LEA hire an energy manager to direct the application process and oversee the plan development phase?
Yes. The Proposition 39 Guidelines allow an LEA to use energy planning funds to hire/retain an energy manager.
Can LEAs pool their funding for the services of an energy manager regionally?
Yes. Proposition 39 Guidelines allow for pooling funding for an energy manager. In addition, an LEA no longer needs to be in the same region to share an energy manager even if it is more convenient to do so. As discussed previously, each LEA request energy manager funds separately in their energy expenditure plan and can only request 10 percent of each annual award from years two to five for energy manager expenditures.
I’m a contractor. Can I work with EverWatt?
Ever taken a service call to replace just one light, and then suggested to your customer that they replace them all, and never have to worry about it again? Often the answer is “Oh man, that sounds great, but expensive.”
With our LED Lease, you can easily turn these service calls into full-blown retrofits by making it a no-brainer sale. Selling with “It’s only $30,000” turns into “No out of pocket cost and you start saving money on day one.”
I promise the latter is an easier sell.
Why would this help me win more bids and grow my business?
Imagine you’re in a competitive bid, where one bid is $25,000, one bid is $32,500, and one bid is “no cost, immediate savings.” 9 times out of 10 you’re going to want to be the third one.
Now imagine you’re EverWatt’s go-to electrical contractor in an area. In that case, you’ll occasionally get jobs from us, that we’ve sold ourselves. On these deals you’d actually make more than usual, because there’s no customeracquisition cost built in to that project.
Furthermore, you can use the LED Lease to go back to your well, and up-sell those folks who were interested but just couldn’t afford a big check or sell it to management.
Won’t learning a bunch of new stuff distract my sales team?
Nope. Our lighting advisers create quotes for you, and can even do lighting simulations for your clients. Plus, we provide fast and easy customer approvals and amazing customer support.
Where does EverWatt’s LED Lease work?
EverWatt is available in every state of the Nation. However, our LED Lease will not work everywhere because in some places electricity is so cheap, or there are no rebates and incentives, such that the economics of replacing lights don’t save the customer enough money to make the project pencil out.
Designed just for you, the electrician
We created our LED Lease to meet the needs of our electrical contractors, with fast, seamless process in the field. We’re a lot more interested in long term partners than we are in grinding your bids. Everyone needs to make money and the customer needs to save money. We’re not interested in bidding out jobs to multiple contractors to grind you on the costs. We’re much more interested in having someone who can be our “go to” in anarea that we have a good relationship. If there’s a mismatch between between what you expect and what we or the customer expects, we’d much rather be able to pick up the phone and talk it though then let things like that fester or make the rest of the project harder.
In short, we want you to make lots of money, so that you are happy and enjoy working with us. We want to make money too. The best way for us to do that is to have solid partners we don’t have to sweat, and where we can all stick to the things we’re each best at. We’re in it for the long haul and we hope you are too.
Why are we able to do this?
We came from a background in the solar industry. That industry was driven forward very slowly until the lease came along around 2007, from big companies like SolarCity or SunRun. Then the market took off, for the same reason. They were able to finance it because there was enough savings in it for the customer for them to share in it profitably. The funny thing is, LED lighting is ten times riper for this model because the return on investment is so dramaticallyhigher than solar. There’s basically less to spend and more savings to share.
We make our money by taking a percentage of the electricity savings, and you the contractor, gets paid what you would normally on a job.
Why should we work with EverWatt?
We’ve been around making and selling lights since 2013, and have worked with Budweiser, Harley Davidson, JFK Airport, JetBlue, NASA, IKEA, etc. We are solidly funded, and are definitely in this for the long haul. Our team of lightingadvisers will whip up quotes for your client that look professional and can potentially help you punch above your weight class in bids, if needed.
As well, our LED lease makes your customers feel safe, like that seen in Tommy Boy. They don’t have to worry about their lights going out, and that trust works for your business too. They’ll be more likely to refer you to other clients.
What do my customers need to qualify?
2 years occupancy, a soft FICO run (pretty lax), and economics of the project that work for everyone (it’s probably not going to work on a monthly electric bill smaller than $500 without some extenuating circumstances).
How does the servicing of the lease work?
This is why a lot of people like leases vs. loans. For their piece of mind. EverWatt takes care of the lights, and while they shouldn’t go out, if they do, we’ll take care of it. And you’ll get paid what you normally would on a servicecall.
Thank you for your interest in teaming with EverWatt. We are always on the lookout for strong contractor partners to join us. We value your interest and look forward to reviewing your application.
Will it Work if I have Solar Power?
I’m Dave Llorens, and I was a co-founder of Solar Power Rocks before EverWatt. I’m an electrical engineer with about a decade in the solar industry. I also founded One Block Off the Grid, a solar group-purchasing company that was acquired by NRG a few years ago.
I wanted to write about something I remember from my very first days in solar, but not solar itself: LED lights. Specifically, how LEDs are like nitro power for the overall economics of solar power.
Long story short: LEDs can save you tons of money by reducing your energy usage and the size of a solar system you need to meet your needs, and you should get some for your business today
If you prefer your long stories long, read on…
Why LED lights are way cool:
Back when I started out in the solar industry, I worked in a green home showroom as a sales rep. We’d tell people all about the advantages of green building techniques, and show them examples. The one that always got the biggest response was LED lights.
The men’s and women’s bathrooms in our showroom had identical floor plans, but we gave each bathroom a different color temperature of LED lights. When the bathrooms were not in use, we’d show people the difference, and almost no one was willing to believe the rooms were identical. But they were! The change in lighting temperature gave each room an entirely different look and feel. It’s something you have to see to believe.
Unfortunately, as cool as LED lights are, they used to cost an arm and a leg, and only rich folks building new green mansions really ever bought them. That has changed, big time.
How LED lights can save you money with solar:
Remember how 20 years ago you needed a second mortgage to buy a desktop computer? These days, you can get a blazing fast laptop or tablet for under a grand, and it’ll probably still work great 5 years from now. Similarly, the cost of home solar has come down 70% in the last decade (but we probably don’t have to tell you that, you smart solar lover, you).
Now, LED lights are doing it, too! Cost has dropped dramatically as manufacturing efficiency has increased. LEDs are now mainstream, and these days, you can install efficient LED lighting in and around your house and cut down your energy usage by a lot.
Here’s an example:
1. You could install a solar power system of size X (to meet your current energy needs) for cost Y
2. You could replace your lights with LEDs, and install a solar power system of size 1/2X, for a total cost of 3/4Y
If you read our site, you know rebates, tax credits, and electricity prices are different everywhere, but there are places in the country right now where you can reap the same electric bill savings with LEDs and solar as you would with a larger solar system, at 25% less cost to you.
OK, so LED lights are cool and save money – what can *I* do?
If you own a business that you’d like to save money – simply hit reply and let us know about your situation. We’ll look into it personally and see if we can help. If you own a home, consider replacing some of your outdoor lighting with some LED corn bulbs.
The next best way to save more money on your electric bills is to just shut off all your lights forever.
Sincerely,Dave LlorensCEO, EverWatt Lights
Will it make people feel safe?
Security is one of the most critical issues facing business owners that have facilities with parking lots or garages today. With their concrete walls, dark stairwells, flickering fluorescent lighting parking lots and garages by their very nature are an attractive target for criminals and unwanted behavior. Most car parking facilities are open to the public, so anyone can come and go as they please including criminals. Parked cars, columns and stairwells provide perfect hiding places for criminals. This problem is further accentuated by the typical bad lighting of such facilities which helps contribute to a sense of insecurity that causes most customers or shoppers to avoid these areas as much has possible.
There are a number lights we offer to help owners of these properties improve security in their parking facilities to deter crime and make individuals feel safer, in addition to reducing their own potential liability. Our lights are designed to distribute an appropriate amount of light evenly and unlike traditional lighting which require constant maintenance, our fixtures are rated from 50,000-100,000 and require virtually no maintenance.
Visibility is a key security feature necessary in any facility, good lighting helps to create a comfortable environment that attracts customers and makes them feel safe and secure. The installation of well-designed lighting can help reduce or even eliminate car break-ins, robberies, vandalism, burglaries or just unwanted traffic.
“Good lighting deters crime and produces a more secure atmosphere,” claims the DOJ report. “It is one of the few facility features that has been documented to reduce crime in parking facilities.”
Interested in our parking lot or security lights? Click here and we’ll get in touch.