How much can you save?
Many businesses could save up to 40% on lighting*. It's an easy win with the potential for worthwhile returns.
Lighting is a rewarding target for energy-conscious businesses of any type. It has to be a priority in the commercial sector where the direct costs of lighting account for 30-50% of typical electricity bills. That's second only to your HVAC - heating, ventilation and air conditioning - costs.
There are significant indirect savings as well: lighting contributes to HVAC demand by increasing cooling requirements in the building.
All these costs can be offset with a targeted strategy for improving lighting efficiency.
* Saving energy in business: lighting. EECA resource sheet
Whether you're an owner or a tenant, lighting is one of the most rewarding areas for introducing efficiencies.
For developers and occupiers
For developers or owners trying to sell or rent spaces, good lighting design can be a clear competitive edge. If you're building from new, lighting is one of the most cost-effective areas available for introducing efficiencies with a payback from energy efficient lighting and good design of as little as 2-21/2 years.
Installing efficient lighting also makes sense for building occupiers. EECA has found it actually has one of the best paybacks of any energy efficiency initiative available to them.
For staff and customers
Most people spend on average eight hours a day in the workplace. Good lighting design is critical to their feelings of comfort and job satisfaction. The benefits can be reflected short term in productivity, and long term in staff retention and lower turnover.
Efficient lighting can also provide a strong signal for the increasing numbers of customers and business partners seeking to work with organisations who can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.
'Good' lighting design
Good lighting design isn't a matter of aesthetics. It's about having the right light where it is required to meet your legal, business and staff needs. It is also about not overlighting or spending more than you need to. Good design can:
- Optimise lighting levels for working accuracy and safety
- Enhance architecture
- Add to the 'look and feel' of a customer space
- Highlight products in a retail environment.
The most efficient lighting option is also often the least expensive on a life-cycle cost basis.
Electricity is just one saving
Upgrading to new technology lighting fittings, retrofitting new lamps or bulbs into existing fittings or completely redesigning your lighting solution can sometimes save up to 60% of your lighting-specific energy costs.
But that's just one of the savings. Typically, modern light fittings and lamps also:
- Require less maintenance than their predecessors
- Last longer
- Emit less heat (so you require less air-conditioning).
Over the life cycle of the equipment, the savings and other benefits often add up to make the most efficient lighting option the least expensive.
Better for the Environment
Energy efficient lighting is one of the easiest, least capital-intensive ways of making a difference.
A sizeable portion of New Zealand's electricity - around 20% - still comes from burning fossil fuels like gas, coal or oil that release climate-changing CO2 into the atmosphere.
Businesses all have a responsibility to do their share to reduce these emissions. Using energy efficient lighting is one of the easiest, least capital-intensive ways of making a difference.
Simply replacing one standard incandescent bulb with one equivalent Compact Fluorescent (CFL) can, over the life of the bulb, keep half a tonne of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Producing lamps requires energy, and disposing of them creates waste that must be either recycled or sent to landfills.
Energy efficient lamps last far longer. For example, a quality CFL may last up to 15,000 hours compared the 1,000 hours a traditional incandescent bulb will last. Longer life means fewer lamps to end up in landfill.
For commercial building owners and operators, choosing energy efficient lighting strategies can aid ISO 14001 compliance and improve energy ratings in the New Zealand Green Building Council's new Green Star NZ rating system.
It can also help differentiate your business in the market (increasing numbers of consumers are becoming more selective about who they buy from) and reduce your carbon footprint (as well as the potential costs associated with this).