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: 37

Comment

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

Join Home Energy Pros

Featured Forum Discussions

Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?

Started by Steve in General Forum. Last reply by Walter Ahlgrim yesterday. 3 Replies

Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.

Started by Daniel James Grundy in Training. Last reply by Daniel James Grundy yesterday. 5 Replies

BDT with vermiculite in hollow CMU walls?

Started by Brad Cook in General Forum. Last reply by John Nicholas yesterday. 2 Replies

Strange IR Image

Started by Larry Nissman in General Forum. Last reply by Brad Cook Mar 9. 7 Replies

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Sarah OConnell posted a blog post

Crowdsourcing for Innovation

Share Your Ideas!Novel Building Envelope Design for Increased Thermal PerformanceIn 2014, more than…See More
13 hours ago
Colin de Paor is now a member of Home Energy Pros
15 hours ago
Walter Ahlgrim replied to Steve's discussion Too many BTU's. Too much horsepower?
"The 5 ton system you have is not 500 hp racecar engines they are 500 hp truck engines. The duct…"
yesterday
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"So I wanted to start with a basic who can help then go into more detail later. But yes find…"
yesterday
Daniel James Grundy replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"My tutor got back to me and while areas don't quite feel right a little to much assumptions…"
yesterday
Brennan Less replied to Daniel James Grundy's discussion Stack/wind pressure and flow networks.
"Daniel, I'm assuming you're trying to predict the airflows through the different openings…"
yesterday
Martin Newmark joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
yesterday
John Nicholas replied to Brad Cook's discussion BDT with vermiculite in hollow CMU walls?
"If the drywall is in good shape, you should have little worries about the 50pa depressurization…"
yesterday

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported by the U.S. Department of Energy) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service