Energy saving commercial lighting - the benefits
According to the Carbon Trust, commercial and industrial lighting consumes an estimated 20% of all electricity generated in the UK. In most organisations, lighting can account for up to 40% of total electricity costs
For any company owning or renting a large commercial/industrial building (such as a factory or warehouse), making the investment in an energy efficient lighting system can significantly improve the following key business indicators:
- Financial overheads
- On-site energy consumption
- Corporate carbon footprint
In addition, there are many other direct and indirect commercial advantages to be realised with new lighting to give businesses an edge over competitors - these are covered in the rest of this article.
Green Business Light install commercial & industrial energy efficient lighting technologies - contact us now to learn more.
Why energy efficient lighting for your business?
Lighting technology has advanced significantly in recent years - the latest energy saving T5 fluorescent tube, induction lamp & LED (Light Emitting Diode) light fixtures in combination with intelligent control systems are designed to directly replace outdated sodium/metal halide HID and fluorescent tube fittings. This allows companies to realise lighting energy savings of 50% upwards - and as high as 80% in some cases.
There are many individual benefits to be realised through these new low energy lighting systems. By way of collating these benefits - there are three distinct commercial "cases" to be made for justification of the investment:
- The financial case for new commercial lighting
- The operational case for new commercial lighting
- The environmental case for new commercial lighting
Making the financial case for energy saving commercial lighting
Some of the separate financial/cost benefits include the following:
- The savings made through new energy efficient lighting can represent the single biggest cut a business can make to on-site electricity expenditure. All savings contribute directly to net profit
- Energy saving commercial lighting provides a guaranteed financial return - 12-24 months is typical, but less than 12 months is certainly possible
- Energy saving lighting can be installed with no capital outlay, only being repaid monthly instalments as equivalent or exceeding savings are generated
- Enhanced Capital Allowance tax relief (writing off 100% of the capital cost against tax in the first year) allows a much faster return-on-investment
- Other various indirect financial benefits include:
- Reduced lighting maintenance costs (e.g. - cost of replacement lamps, the hiring of expensive lifting equipment and contractors)
- The cost of heating/cooling loads in a building (e.g. - air conditioning, environmental systems) can be significantly lowered
- Enhanced staff productivity as a result of improved working conditions
- Less risk of financial penalties due to accidents or non-compliance with regulations/directives
Making the operational case for energy saving commercial lighting
The operational benefits for businesses who upgrade their commercial or industrial buildings with energy efficient lighting include the following:
- Improved staff productivity through more comfortable working environments when areas are lit brightly enough and/or given a more suitable "quality" of light (close to daylight) for the type of work being undertaken in the location
- The disruption of maintaining a building lighting system can be reduced dramatically - new lighting technologies can provide many years usage between necessary lamp changes
- New lighting can protect a business against liability from existing health and safety issues and bring a site up to scratch by adopting best practices such as:
- Ensuring that CIBSE lighting lux levels guidelines are met
- Eliminating dimness in dangerous working areas
- Addressing issues with hazards caused by lighting - lowering glare etc.
- Reducing risks associated with older, unsafe lighting wiring & circuits etc.
- Using a "pay as you save" lighting financial scheme allows capital equipment budgets to be reserved for other on-site upgrades and repairs as they occur.
- Other benefits of new lighting systems include:
- the ability to get achieve instant full light levels instantly (no warm-up or re-strike time after e.g. - a power outage)
- Some older lamps are being discontinued by manufacturers and are difficult to source (an example being 8 foot T12 fluorescent tubes) upgrading light fittings eliminates these associated risks
Making the environmental case for energy saving commercial lighting
There are numerous environmental benefits for businesses who upgrade their commercial or industrial buildings with new energy efficient lighting systems.
These benefits include:
- Being part of a clear Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and a carbon reduction strategy to supply chains and customers.
- New lighting provides a very "visual" demonstration of a sustainability/carbon reduction project - an investment made in energy saving lighting provides a very strong message to customers & supply chains who increasingly need to see businesses taking climate change seriously
- New energy efficient, long life lighting technologies require much less frequent replacement, producing less waste. This makes it easier for a business to ensure compliance with ever tighter environmental regulations (e.g. the WEEE initiative) requiring specialist hazardous material disposal)
- This allows budgets to be protected for other areas in the business, eliminating what is usually the biggest barrier for capital investment projects
Energy saving lighting - the benefits for business stakeholders
Certain key stakeholders in businesses will have their own particular interests in ensuring that an energy efficient lighting system helps to achieve their personal performance aims & targets - such stakeholders include:
- Site/facility managers
- Financial/general managers
- Energy, environment or carbon managers
- Electrical engineer or contractors
The individual advantages that energy efficient lighting can bring to each of these roles is outlined below:
Site/facility managers - the benefits
Site and facility managers are aware of excessive energy consumption & reliability problems caused by outdated equipment. Replacing old lighting (sodium, metal halide etc.) fixtures with the latest energy saving technologies is a very effective way to:
- Improve on-site working conditions for staff
- Ensure compliance with business environmental regulations & achieve certification standards (e.g. ISO 14001)
Financial/general managers - the benefits
Financial or general managers will aware of the large contribution that lighting bills make to overheads (up to 80% of electricity costs in some cases). New lighting systems will help to:
- Increase business profitability
- Improve corporate sustainability credentials
- Improve staff performance
Energy, environmental or carbon managers - the benefits
Commercial environmental/energy or carbon managers are aware of the challenges of securing investment & support for sustainable or energy efficiency projects. A new energy saving lighting installation will:
- Deliver guaranteed significant energy, carbon & financial savings with complete payback in under 2 - 3 years.
- Kick-start a wider carbon reduction plan as part of a larger business energy efficiency initiative or environmental strategy
- Become part of a sustainable business supply chain
- Meet your business customer/supply chain sustainability demands
- Exhibition carbon reduction project
- The installation of new energy efficient lighting provides a very "visual" demonstration of a carbon reduction project which your business is undertaking
Electrical engineers/contractors - the benefits
As a commercial electrical contractor, you will be aware of ever increasing demands to meet energy & carbon reduction targets from on-site equipment. A new lighting system can:
- Reduce the need to hire lifting equipment (cherry picker, scissor lift etc.) for lamp changes
- Reduce risks of blown circuits/shattering lamps/ overheating
- Lower the existing electrical load on the lighting circuits