Maximize Efficiency in Commercial Buildings
The Value of In-House Lighting Audits
Lighting is one of the easiest places to cut energy use in many facilities, but finding the right place to start a retrofit or relamping project can be a real hurdle.
That’s where a lighting audit comes in.
It may be time-consuming, but identifying the biggest energy hogs and dealing
with them first will pay dividends in the
form of cost savings that you can use to
finance future efficiency projects. Ensure
your audit’s success by starting off on the
Why Not Conduct An Energy
Lighting may have a shorter payback
period than a comprehensive energy
audit, which is best deployed if there
are other systems in the building that
already need an upgrade, explains Brian
Bridges, Founder and President of Lighting Audit Services.
“Sometimes building owners target
lighting if there is a budget issue – in
other words, ‘We have X amount of
money to do a capital project right now
and lighting is the quickest way to do it,’”
Bridges says. “If you can roll a lighting
upgrade in with mechanical, solar, and
envelope, that’s fantastic, but that’s often
not the case.”
Having the in-house facilities team
conduct the audit is a great way to
find places to cut energy use or back
up a funding request for an efficiency
upgrade, Bridges adds. A third-party
professional may be necessary if you plan
to use the audit data to apply for rebates
or a green building certification.
Also consider enlisting your local utility in your auditing efforts, recommends
Gary Markowitz, Founder and President
of Kilojolts Consulting Group – the utility may offer to pay part of the cost of a
third-party audit or have someone on
staff who can examine your options once
you’ve inventoried your lighting.
“When you have general notes –
things like ‘I have this many T12 fix-
tures, but I know T8s and T5s are more
efficient’ – they’ll usually have someone
available with the expertise to make
recommendations,” notes Markowitz.
3 Steps to Slash Energy
When you’re ready to start the audit,
make sure that your walkthrough accounts for these three areas.
1) Gather data. Note every lamp and
fixture in every space, including charac-
teristics like the manufacturer, the type
and age of both the lamp and the fixture,
whether ballasts are used, wattage, their
location in the building (including the
name and function of the space), and
continued on page 11
SAVING ENERGY WITH EFFICIENT LIGHTING starts with an audit to identify energy waste and find
opportunities for improvements.