Essex Condo Association

Washington, D.C. condo upgrades lighting with LED lighting-as-a-service program.


Multifamily Housing


Commercial Grade LED Lighting

Subscription Length

60 Months

Expected Savings


CO2 Reduction

2,437,000 lbs over project lifetime


Washington, DC

The Problem

The Essex Condominium Association (Essex) in Washington D.C. needed to upgrade its condo building's lighting. The members hoped to improve lighting quality, save on lamp replacements, and reduce monthly utility bills. Understandably, the Association had plenty of other expenses that made it difficult to allocate funds to a lighting upgrade. In order to get a lighting proposal approved by the entire Association, Essex needed to find a solution to avoid upfront costs, making payments only if and when the upgrades saved money.

The Solution

Citizen Energy's LED Lighting-as-a-Service Program, powered by Sparkfund financing, provided Essex Condominium Association with the answer: better and brighter lighting installed for $0 upfront.

Citizen Energy designed a lighting plan for Essex, and installed Energy Star and DLC certified commercial grade LED products. Citizen Energy also installed a metering system to measure energy consumption and develop an energy baseline for measurement and verification. The LED Lighting-as-a-Service contract lets Essex pay Citizen Energy a share of the actual energy bill savings over time, meaning that Essex only pays as it saves. At the end of the LED Lighting-as-a-Service term, Essex will take full ownership of the LEDs, keeping all future savings without any further payment obligation.

Sparkfund supports Citizen Energy by backstopping the project cost, paying Citizen Energy upfront. As Essex pays Citizen Energy per the customized LED Lighting-as-a-Service contract, Citizen Energy in turn pays Sparkfund a set payment over time. This Services Agreement structure provided by Sparkfund means Citizen Energy can offer pay-as-you-save solutions while protecting their revenue timing and recognition.

The Result

Immediate savings. Essex pays Citizen Energy only as they save through the LED Lighting-as-a-Service Program. Once the contract ends, Essex will keep 100% of the project savings.

Better lighting quality. The newly installed LEDs increase the quality of the lighting in the building drastically, providing higher lumen output, better light spread, and color uniformity.

Immediate revenue for Citizen Energy. A capital lease with Sparkfund ensures that Citizen Energy can offer a similar LED Lighting-as-a-Service contract with more customers, expanding energy efficiency through the District!

Reduced carbon footprint. The new LED installation will save 2,437,000 lbs of CO2 over the lifetime of the project.

The program will save us significantly on our electricity and lighting maintenance costs with little to no risk. Furthermore, participating in the program will help us reduce our carbon footprint and help us achieve green building certifications.

John Alvarado, Essex Property Manager

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