Trade Ally Network Northwest

Lighting Tech Tip: How to Make Your Lighting Bid Stand Out

May 13, 2022 | Trade Ally Network NW

If you’re bidding on a new construction project, finding an advantage to stand out can make the difference between winning and losing business. Some contractors make the mistake of submitting bids without involving the local utility to capture potential incentives. Make sure that you’re including estimated utility incentives with your proposal to get a leg up on your competition.

Most utility programs have incentives for new construction lighting measures. So how do you participate, what do you need to provide, and when do you do what? Here’s how to get started:

1. Communicate with your local utility. Start by talking with your local utility to verify funding availability, measure eligibility, and any utility-specific requirements. While many utilities have similar requirements, it’s important to speak with your local utility representative to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information available.

More importantly, by getting project pre-approval, the utility can earmark funding for your project, thus ensuring your customer’s incentive will be there when you get done with the installation. No one wants to have a conversation with a customer about promised incentives that do not materialize due to a lack of funding, so make sure you obtain pre-approval for your project.

2. Provide required documentation. At a minimum, you will need to have a completed lighting calculator. The lighting calculator provides project and customer-specific information that will be used to calculate the estimated incentive value, estimated annual savings, cost of waiting, estimated simple payback, and return on investment.

3. Gather information for the lighting calculator. Give yourself time to gather all the information you need. For example, the new construction lighting calculator requires that the energy code lighting power allowance be entered for both interior and exterior scopes of work along with what you intend to install. It also asks for incremental lighting materials cost, primary heating type, primary cooling type, and affected square footage.

There are several assumptions in the lighting calculator about hours of operations, maintenance savings, and the interactive impacts of more efficient lighting on heating and cooling loads in a facility. These factors may be adjusted with documented justification by the BPA lighting team. Talk with your local utility and your Network field specialist about any calculator questions when assembling the project. Once the data is compiled and populated in the calculator, submit it to the local utility to get project pre-approval in writing.

4. Win the project! You may be the successful bidder by helping your client earn incentives to offset costs and invest in long-term energy savings. As construction gets underway, remember that you have deliverables at the end of the project. If nothing changed in your design, the legwork you did up front has prepared you for easy project closeout. If there are changes, you will need to update the lighting calculator and related documents. Often the utility will complete a site inspection to verify final conditions.

5. Tap your Network field specialist for help. Trade Ally Network NW is here to support you every step of the way. From drafting your proposal to completing the lighting calculator to working with the utility, our team can jump in as needed to help make your project a success.

6. Coordinate with the other trades involved. Early and often coordination with the other trades involved in the project can help ensure a smooth project implementation process. Early coordination ultimately can deliver a better project for everyone, especially your customer.

Category: Best Practices

Tags: business development lighting Lighting Controls new business