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Saving energy through lighting management in commercial buildings

27 May 2013

With the continued rise in energy costs impacting commercial buildings across Australia, investing in energy efficiency makes more sense than ever. Energy efficient lighting is an obvious starting point for offices looking to reduce energy consumption and demand across their business. Energy can be a significant and controllable cost for an office, particularly when energy efficiency is implemented. Return on investments can be attractive and lighting is a reliable and easily quantifiable investment. Request an energy audit today.

Since the 90s there has been a slow but steady trend towards increased lighting energy efficiency. This has predominantly been driven by environmental awareness and the opportunity to improve lighting efficiencies. Energy management company, Energy Action sees an increase in the number of commercial buildings looking to review their lighting use due to rapid rises in electricity rates.

Edward Hanna, Director of Sustainability at Energy Action said, “Energy efficient lighting is increasingly being sold as a commodity product, the lighting experience is a sensitive issue for many buyers. Every year commercial buildings around the country use vast amounts of electricity. By installing more efficient lighting, offices not only do their bit for the environment; but also cut costs, enabling them to increase their profits.”

Energy Action offers tips for businesses looking to retrofit energy efficient lighting

1. Think about the office’s needs. There can be a variance in the lighting levels used depending on the task being performed allowing the office to reduce the amount of energy that it uses. For example, the main workstation area needs to be well lit at all times but rooms like meeting and board rooms should only have lights on when in use. Effective lighting needs to produce a comfortable and productive environment for staff.

2. Make lighting part of interior design discussions. In an upgrade or change in use of an area the lighting also needs to be considered. Once the overall architectural design and interior layout have been established, opportunities to provide a well-integrated, quality lighting solution can be limited. Early decisions such as ceiling height, window size, and placement of rooms are all critical to the effect lighting will have on a space.

3. Invest in lighting controls. Many existing fixtures are able to be integrated into current lighting control methodologies. Optimising existing lighting control systems or investing in in-fixture occupancy sensors and daylight sensors can lower your energy bills. This is particularly effective in low traffic areas such as stairwells, meeting rooms, utility rooms and car parks. Intuitive and in-fixture controlled lights are becoming increasingly cost effective for these environments. The use of flexible lighting solutions in areas that are not constantly in use can minimise your energy consumption. Most current energy efficient alternatives can dim or turn off when not in use, without worrying about long warm up times.

4. Make informed decisions when choosing suppliers and or technology. Choose your suppliers and installers on recommendations, referrals, experience and reputation, not just price. Always check your warranties, lead times and service expectations before orders are placed. If building managers/owners can’t find a lighting salesman they trust, consider seeking guidance from an independent lighting market consultant. There is a lot of information in the market that can help you make an informed decision about the best long term lighting solution for your business. 

Examine your options before you commit to a technology. Lighting and control technologies are evolving quickly. Assessing the market can be time consuming and complex.

Taking all of this into consideration will ensure that a lighting strategy can successfully reduce energy use, lower energy bills and reduce the carbon footprint of the building. Request an energy audit today.

 

About Energy Action

Energy Action is Australia’s leading independent energy management company, offering comprehensive buying and management services aimed at reducing energy usage and saving businesses money.

The company’s flagship service, the Australian Energy Exchange, allows energy suppliers to competitively bid against one another to supply an organisation’s energy – with a best fit contract secured in around 15 minutes. This unique platform has secured energy contracts in excess of $5 billion and delivered millions of dollars’ worth of savings for Australian organisations.

Energy Action has leveraged the independence of this business model into the energy efficiency lighting market. They have utilised their relationships with lighting technology suppliers across Australia to design and implement energy efficient lighting solutions for their commercial and industrial customers. Visit www.energyaction.com.au or speak to our team at Energy Action and maximise your energy savings today.