by Stewart Muir, Project Manager, Energy Saving Trust
The Premium Light Pro project, run in the UK by Energy Saving Trust, aims to speed the shift to more efficient lighting in the non-domestic sector. We have produced extensive resources, including guidance brochures to help organisations looking to upgrade lighting understand the issue and the solution, and procurement criteria to aid product selection.
We also run a series of training courses for the public sector, businesses, energy assessors and manufacturers across the country with experts from industry. Upgrading lighting is not just a matter of taking the path of least resistance. Lighting upgrades must be done well to realise their energy savings and payback. With a vast range of products available, specifying quality is vital, as well as ensuring the lighting design is appropriate for the space.
Our next set of courses will be delivered at Lux Live, Europe’s biggest annual lighting event. As part of our partnership with the Lighting Industry Academy under Premium Light Pro, we are running short training sessions on indoor and outdoor lighting that are both free and CPD accredited, with expert trainers from the LIA.
The sessions, aimed at anyone considering or installing an upgrade of efficient lighting will help you understand lighting basics, control strategies, funding and how to navigate the product market to ensure you get a quality, efficient lighting system installed. In addition, we’ll be sitting on the panel for a debate on compliance and competence in the lighting industry.
Lighting is often used as a symbol of energy saving – think about Earth Hour, which started as an event where people literally turned out the lights. Images of spiral compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are still used to represent ‘energy saving lightbulbs’, despite the industry moving on significantly from their use. Energy saving lightbulbs have even been used as a symbol of perceived EU over-regulation in some quarters, despite the shift from inefficient halogen bulbs saving the equivalent of Portugal’s annual electricity bill.
In fact, a large scale switch to LED lighting could be one of the best ways of brightening up our future. The recent IPCC report on Climate Change outlined numerous areas to change if we are to stay within the 1.5C threshold, with improved energy efficiency a powerful tool to reduce carbon emissions. The report estimated that investment in low-carbon and energy efficient technologies would need to double.
Lighting provides a major energy saving opportunity across the UK’s public sector, businesses and workplaces. In 2014, Lux Magazine estimated that around a third of the UK’s 42 TWh of energy consumption from commercial lighting could be saved by a switch to LED and controls. Domestic users are part of the story but the commercial lighting sector is where the major savings can be made. However, it also sees some of the largest barriers to change.
Upfront financing costs put off 71% of independent retailers from upgrading their lighting, according to the Grocer’s 2015 Switch the Lights campaign. Other obstacles in the public sector suggest a lack of procurement know-how and long term strategies for deploying such technologies, according to research from the Carbon Trust and GE.
If businesses and public sector bodies can overcome these challenges, upgrading from older fluorescent and halogen lighting provides clear benefits. Beyond lowering overheads, the right use of LED lighting and controls simply has the ability to make public buildings, workplaces and businesses more pleasant and productive places to work.
There’s certainly a positive case for upgrading lighting if your business is one of the SMEs reported by Gazprom to be using 46% of their electricity outside business hours, and the case is bolstered further if your workforce comprises some of the 32% of office staff who reportedly ‘hate their lighting’.
Find out more at our Premium Light Pro sessions at Lux Live, or on the Premium Light Pro site.