New lighting qualification requirements for Power Moves rebates for 2023

The lighting requirements to qualify for Power Moves® energy efficiency rebates are getting a makeover for 2023.

This year, any lighting projects for Power Moves prescriptive or custom non-residential rebates must meet the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) V.5.1 SSL Technical Requirements for lighting, fixtures and related equipment. The DLC lists products on its website that meet certain high energy efficiency standards for commercial lighting products. The DLC standards are updated every few years to coincide with improvements in technology, said Jeff Holowach, commercial and industrial energy advisor for the Power Moves team. Only the products listed on the DLC website meet the DesignLights Consortium’s requirements.

The DLC announced the new V5.1 requirements effective July 2020, according to the organization’s website. Commercial lighting products that did not meet the new requirements were delisted in June 2022. The Power Moves team continued to accept rebate applications for commercial lights and fixtures that meet either the V5.0 or V5.1 through the end of December 2022.

“As technology has improved, the DesignLights Consortium is holding manufacturers accountable to meet certain levels of energy efficiency, controllability and light quality,” Holowach said. “The previous technical requirements have been phased out by the DLC, but we gave all of the cooperative members a grace period through the end of 2022 to ensure that the project they have been planning will qualify.”

The new requirements address lighting characteristics that impact people’s mood, safety, and performance, Holowach said. Nearly all of the lighting products meeting the new requirement must have dimming capabilities, he added.

About three-quarters of the commercial and industrial projects receiving Power Moves rebates in 2022 met the V5.0 technical requirements; only one-fourth had met the new V5.1 standards. About two-thirds of the products that previously qualified are delisted from the new requirements, including 80 percent of the E39 mogul base, or “corn cob,” lights, Holowach said.

“The old corn cob lights barely met standards to begin with, and when you improve the requirements even slightly, they were going to fall off the DLC qualified products list,” he added. “The corn cob lights are a retrofit compared to a new dedicated fixture, and it’s much harder to meet those new requirements through a retrofit than a dedicated fixture.”

Businesses in virtually any industry can save money on long-term costs by installing or upgrading commercial lighting to products that meet the energy efficient DLC V5.1 specifications.

“Some people think that all LEDs are created equal, and there is not much difference in the quality of products that exist,” said Laura Matney, program manager for the Power Moves program offered by WVPA’s 23 member electric co-ops. “The DesignLights Consortium listed products are the best available, and the new requirements will ensure that lighting projects that receive Power Moves rebates will maximize benefits and savings.”

During this time of transition from one standard to another by DLC, please be aware that there are likely to be old cut sheets or packaging that shows the DLC logo or gives the impression that a product is qualified when that may no longer be the case. To ensure rebate eligibility and verify that the chosen product that meets the DLC V5.1 requirements, visit the DesignLights Consortium website at If you need assistance as you start planning your project, contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor for more information.