3 Ways Lighting Contractors Can Help Your Building Go Green
By Sustainable Energy Fund
Pennsylvania commercial buildings spent $6.37 billion on energy in 2015. $4.19 billion of that was on electricity. Without conducting an energy audit, it’s difficult to know how much of your energy spend is due to lighting. But if you are using any technology other than Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), there are savings to be had. For buildings and facilities with overnight shifts, or 24/7 use such as parking garages, the savings could be much greater. Add to this the life of LEDs can be 3 times the life of a T12 fluorescent, significantly reducing the maintenance costs.
Sustainable energy and energy conservation initiatives are no longer just about going green, they’re critical to doing business. Lighting contractors have long understood the benefits of clean, renewable energy. And for most of their commercial customers, they represent a practical place to begin the march toward a greener, sustainable energy future.
Let’s break down the 3 biggest ways the right lighting partner will benefit your bottom line.
Energy & Lighting Audit
The first thing a lighting contractor will do is assess your current lighting system, analyze the environment, lighting requirements, and energy consumption. Collecting this kind of data will help them estimate how much energy you’re wasting and identify any energy-saving opportunities.
After the site visit, they will put together a proposal for a more energy-efficient solution with calculated ROI and lifecycle costs included. Some lighting contractors will also factor in financial incentives such as available rebates and grants as part of the proposal or other related savings. Audits are crucial in giving you an idea of how much energy and money your current lighting system wastes.
Retrofits & Upgrades
A vast number of lighting projects involve retrofitting old light fixtures with upgraded lighting technology. Today’s lighting contractors are experts in the field of LED technology, which offers, without question, the best bang for the buck with respect to energy consumption, lifetime durability, and cost savings. Payback period will vary depending on the specific requirements of the design.
The benefits of retrofits go beyond improving a building’s energy efficiency. The newer lighting fixtures and long-term energy savings also help increase its value. Additionally, studies have shown the upgrades in ambience and aesthetics improve workers’ health, safety, and productivity due to the improvement in light quality. Lastly, lighting contractors often provide proper removal and disposal of the old lights and lighting components they have just replaced, some of which may contain hazardous chemicals such as mercury.
Strategic Lighting & Design
Lighting contractors can also help organizations that want to incorporate sustainable energy into their facility from day one. They can help you design building spaces and structures that maximize available daylight and minimize lighting demand. This kind of forward-looking, energy-efficient planning is becoming more popular as evidence of the economic and environmental effects of excessive energy consumption continues to mount.
Contractors can also design custom solutions for your specific work area or spatial requirement, including recommendations on which fixtures and products would work best. Finally, in addition to auditing, planning, design, procurement, and installation, your lighting vendor will be able to handle all the necessary maintenance and management details of your newly green building moving forward.
Committing to a sustainable energy future means finding like-minded partners invested in helping you on your journey. Lighting contractors play a significant role in helping building and facility owners reduce their carbon footprint and realize efficient energy consumption goals. At Sustainable Energy Fund, we know you’re ready to take the first step, and we want to help. We’ve put together a list of Energy Service Providers who specialize in lighting and are eager to join your cause.
Also, if you require funding in order to kickstart your green initiatives, check out these 2 ways SEF can help.