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Caution urged in Arkansas poultry lighting rebate scheme

LED technology developer, Once Innovations (ONCE) is urging Arkansas poultry farmers to carefully check specifications on any LED lamp being considered for purchase, from any manufacturer, if they are expecting a 50% rebate from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) Energy Office.

Mike Ostaffe, ONCE President, reassured farmers that AgriShift® Poultry Lamps from ONCE meet or exceed rebate requirements, but contends that other manufacturers’ lamps don’t. “NIST-traceable testing of some lamps being sold to Arkansas farmers shows they are significantly less in lumen output than required by the program. Others clearly state in marketing materials that they are not suited for damp and/or dusty locations or omit lumen data altogether.

“The AEDC should have required independent lamp testing as we urged them to do many times. This would have identified manufacturers who are not in program compliance, plus others currently being investigated by safety testing labs for incorrectly applying product safety marks. Since they did not, farmers should insist on a copy of manufacturers’ published specifications for lamps they are considering purchasing and compare them to the Arkansas Rebate Minimum Specifications on the AEDC website at”  If any data is missing or raises concerns, they should think twice about working with that supplier.

By signing the Rebate Program Application, the applicant and distributor/manufacturer verify that lamps purchased meet program requirements. According to Ostaffe, “It would be difficult for farmers to know this in cases where manufacturers don’t publish lumen data or haven’t had their lamp independently certified. The AEDC is not upholding its fiduciary duty to taxpayers if it allows lamps not meeting its own minimum standards to be rebated.”

J.D. Lowery, of the Arkansas Economic Development Committee Energy Office indicated that manufacturers have verified their products meet rebate requirements, but has not responded to repeated requests from ONCE asking for written or published data to back up these claims.

“Competition is good for everyone,” concluded Ostaffe, “as long as there’s a level playing field. We’ll continue to advocate for ourselves, and even our competitors, who play by the rules. Those that don’t aren’t fulfilling their obligation to farmers and don’t deserve their business. We’re proud that AgriShift® LED Lamps meet AEDC rebate requirements - and are ETL certified to UL/CSA safety standards.”

ONCE will submit its concerns to the US Department of Energy under the Waste, Fraud, and Abuse provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Source: Once Innovations

Editor WorldPoultry

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