How much money can new lighting save your business?

Am I average?

That’s the question that often hits me when someone quotes an ‘average’ statistic. The ‘average’ business or household seems almost mythological. Few of us fall right on that point on the line.

The same is true when it comes to often quoted energy efficiency savings statistics. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency says that replacing one old-fashion incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light will save on average $69 over the product’s lifetime.

Will your business save that much by installing new light bulbs?

Several factors come into play, some that you can control, the most obvious being how much you turn on the light.

Another important dynamic, not often discussed, is your electric rate.  Rates vary dramatically through the United States. In coming up with the $69 savings figure, the EPA assumed an electric rate of 11.3 cents/kWh. If you operate a business in North Dakota, you’re paying a lot less than that for electricity, about 6.8 cents/kWh, so your savings from a CFL will be lower. If you’re in Hawaii, you are paying a lot more, about 28 cents/kWh, so your savings will be greater.

Take a look at this frequently updated chart of electricity rates in the 50 states. Is your business in one of the pricier states? If so, an investment in new lighting may quickly pay back. After you’ve found your electricity rate, you can go to this calculator and gauge what you’ll save if you switch from old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs to CFLs. This will give you a closer idea of your savings, although even with this calculation we still are dealing to some degree with averages. The electricity rate in the chart is the average for utilities in your state. Your utility can provide your specific rate.

Businesses are increasingly contemplating saving energy – and costs – by installing efficient lighting, not only CFLS, but LEDs and lighting controls. This is partly because lighting accounts for somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent of the electricity commercial enterprises use, so the savings can be substantial. On a larger societal level, efficient lighting for businesses is important because US commercial buildings represent 47 percent of the total growth in energy expected in the US between 2010 and 2020.

Elisa Wood is a co-author of “Energy-Efficient Lighting Explained: A guide for business people who aren’t lighting techies,” published by RealEnergyWriters.com and The Daily Energy Report.

Views: 25

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Craig Foley posted an event
Thumbnail

NESEA BuildingEnergy '15 at Seaport World Trade Center, Boston

March 4, 2015 from 10:30am to 12:30pm
High-Performance, Green Homes in Residential Real EstateInstructor Craig Foley will present three…See More
38 minutes ago
Casey Gesell posted a video

ThermalDry® Insulated Floor Decking!

Larry Janesky, owner and founder of Dr. Energy Saver is once again On the Job insulating and finishing a basement in the northeast – and introducing a brand new insulation product: ThermalDry Insulated Floor Decking. ThermalDry Floor Decking was…
1 hour ago
Profile IconBergen Heat, Travis Thom and Amita Singh joined Home Energy Pros
3 hours ago
Tom White's video was featured

U.S. Department of Education Webinar for HVACR Educators

Rebroadcast from On April 30, 2013 Sharon Miller and Robin Utz of the U.S. Department of Education conducted a one hour webinar for HVACR educators to provide them firsthand information from Washington. Highlights include: * A blueprint to revise…
4 hours ago
Tom White posted a video

U.S. Department of Education Addresses HVACR Educators 4-30-2013

Rebroadcast from On April 30, 2013 Sharon Miller and Robin Utz of the U.S. Department of Education conducted a one hour webinar for HVACR educators to provid...
4 hours ago
Nate Adams's discussion was featured
15 hours ago
Bud Poll replied to Bud Poll's discussion CO poisoning in Yarmouth Maine
"Hi Chad, I sure would like to hear the follow-up on what caused the CO issue down there.  As…"
19 hours ago
Chad Mcaulife replied to Bud Poll's discussion CO poisoning in Yarmouth Maine
"I got a call yesterday from a homeowner who had a direct vent furnace installed a year ago and she…"
19 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service