How To Sell Lighting Retrofits To Government Clients (3 Tips)

September 8, 2014 at 3:15 pm  •  Posted in Building Green, Construction  •  0 Comments

From a reduced energy bill to a focus on green and sustainable initiatives, lighting retrofits present many opportunities for government clients. But to win big business, contractors need to cross their t’s and dot their i’s.

Here are a few tips to land government lighting retrofit jobs:

1. Focus On The Big Picture

By staying informed on city- and state-wide initiatives, contractors can sell lighting retrofits that sit in line with government interests.

For example, Graybar recently collaborated with the team from GE Lighting to offer LED street lighting fixtures for the city of Oakland, home to nearly 400,000 residents, and ranked by The New York Times as the “fifth most desirable destination to visit” in 2012.

During the bidding and discovery process, we learned that sustainability is really important to Oaklanders. In the past several years, Oakland has been recognized as a top 10 green and sustainable U.S. city eight times. (Oakland ranked fourth in sustainability among large U.S. cities by both the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Mother Nature Network.)

With such an impressive dedication to sustainability, we weren’t surprised when the city of Oakland decided to upgrade its 30,000 street lights with more energy-efficient and cost-effective lighting solutions. (If you’re interested in reading the case study, you can find it here.)

2. Emphasize Spending Tax Dollars Efficiently

Government clients are concerned with efficiency and cost effectiveness just like any other client, especially since they’re accountable to the hardworking taxpayers of their community. To win big government business, contractors should emphasize the significant energy and cost savings that lighting retrofits can provide, including:

Reduced Energy & Maintenance Costs

On this job, the city of Oakland anticipates energy savings in excess of 40 percent, with reduced maintenance costs due to the longer life of the LED lighting fixtures. Overall, the lighting replacement is expected to save the city of Oakland more than $1.4 million in annual energy and maintenance costs. (That’s a decent chunk of change.) Oakland will also benefit from controls-ready dimmable LED drivers and a special photocell receptacle, which allows the city to dim the lights during non-peak hours for additional savings and energy efficiency.

Money-Saving Rebates

Government clients could also be eligible for cost-saving rebates for energy-efficient lighting retrofits. On top of the energy and cost savings the LED street lighting fixtures will provide, the city of Oakland also utilized rebates offered by California utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. To win government gigs, you should know what rebates are being offered within the cities and states you’re competing within.

3. Partner Up To Win Big 

Graybar collaborated with GE Lighting—one of our top suppliers—to complete this job. GE Lighting is a big player in the industry, but we also partner with subcontractors to get the job done. Government jobs of this magnitude have many moving parts, and collaborating with the right partners is crucial for success. By working together, all parties can increase their clout and effectiveness. For example, Graybar’s team is experienced in navigating the sales and RFP process for companies and government clients alike, and we act as a matchmaker between manufacturers, contractors, and end-user clients. With our team on your side, you can focus on the installation work, and we’ll manage the whole process.

Over To You

Have you bid on government contracts? What challenges did you encounter? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below, or connecting with us on Twitter @GraybarESP.


About The Author
Kristian Reyes, LC, Manager, Lighting & PowerSmart Business

With 18+ years of hands-on experience under his belt, Kristian knows a thing or two about the importance of effective lighting solutions. During his career, he’s worked alongside top brands like GE, where he served in a number of management and sales roles. As the Manager of Lighting and PowerSmart Business for Graybar, Kristian leads the teams responsible for delivering energy-efficient solutions to Graybar’s California customers.



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