Energy Efficient Lighting Cuts Costs & CO2
Analysts predict that a realistic energy saving of 20% on all lighting currently installed in Europe would save £9.8 billion in annual energy costs.
Why are we so attached to obsolete lighting technology? The past 10 to 15 years have seen a revolution in energy efficient lighting, yet we continue to make the ‘dim’ choice.
Switching from outdated lighting to the latest generation of products holds the potential of generating massive savings in energy costs and CO² emissions, especially as it’s estimated that approximately two–thirds of all lighting in the European Union is based on technology developed before 1970.
Analysts predict that a realistic energy saving of 20% on all lighting currently installed in Europe would save £9.8 billion in annual energy costs. That equates to a staggering 50 million tonnes of CO² a year and the annual output of more than 67 power plants producing 2TWh/year.
Yet, reports suggest the uptake of new lighting technology is woefully slow—just 7% per year in the case of commercial offices.
So why are people so reluctant to make the change?
The obvious answer is cost, because new energy saving lighting is more expensive to buy. But talk to most contractors and installers and they’d suggest a lack of awareness as the main culprit — people simply don’t realise the opportunities the latest lighting technologies offer, whether that’s in the home or at work.
Lighting is functional and low interest. Most importantly, people don’t see the direct electricity costs of lighting and, in many instances, are unaware of the on–going developments in lighting energy efficiency.
CFLs use five times less electricity than incandescent lamps; triphosphor tubes reduce energy consumption by 30% compared to halophosphor versions…
Recent announcements by some of this country’s major retailers to either encourage the sales of energy efficient lamps through incentives or set dates to completely remove incandescent lamps from their shelves, is a step in the right direction, but goes nowhere towards solving the issue.
In the commercial and industrial sectors there is also the added complication that the person signing off the required extra expenditure for new lamps and lighting systems, is invariably not a lighting expert.
Why should he or she sanction the extra expenditure required to upgrade a company’s lighting system without a proper proposal about payback periods.
When you consider that on average lighting accounts for 30% of the total energy consumed by office buildings in the UK, the inefficiencies of old lighting technologies becomes all too apparent.
Energy efficient lighting technologies do require more of an initial outlay, but they can have short payback periods and can save significant amounts of energy and money over their lifetime.
And, we shouldn’t forget the environmental case. There may be a lack of awareness about the latest lighting technologies, but the same can’t be said for climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions.
There’s also an argument that, similar to cigarettes, incandescent lamps should carry the health warning ‘Using this lamp will damage the environment’.
…and a switch to high–frequency electronic control gear adds another 20–25% into the energy saving pot.
So where does this leave manufacturers, wholesalers and installers?
At Newey & Eyre we firmly believe now is the time to explain to people the benefits of making the switch to energy efficient lighting, even if they decide not to implement it immediately.
We need to demonstrate the monetary and carbon savings that can be achieved by upgrading lamps, control gear and fittings as well as looking at lighting control systems.
The facts and figures speak for themselves.
- CFLs use five times less electricity than incandescent lamps;
- triphosphor tubes reduce energy consumption by 30% compared to halophosphor versions; and
- a switch to high–frequency electronic control gear adds another 20 to 25% into the energy saving pot.
To raise awareness amongst our customers we have launched an exciting new campaign to promote the benefits of making ‘The Bright Green Choice’ and using energy efficient products, including low energy lamps and luminaires.
We are determined to offer installers and end users an ‘Intelligent Choice’ of products that not only benefit them, but also helps reduce carbon emissions.