what controls are present, if any. Bridges
recommends taking a photo of every
fixture type to help you with analysis afterward. Review recent electric bills to
determine what you’re paying for electricity, a step that will help you estimate
the ROI of potential improvements.
2) Determine occupant needs.
Record what tasks workers perform in
each space, as well as how often they use
the lighting and for how long. Consult
the Illuminating Engineering Society’s
footcandle recommendations for different tasks and age groups to see if you’re
overlighting any areas.
Also examine traffic through your
facility, determining where occupants
tend to congregate vs. areas that are
frequently empty. Existing building
schedules can help with this.
3) Assess the space. The tasks and
activities you looked at to determine
occupants’ required light levels will also
help you determine whether the fixtures
in each space are suitable for the envi-
ronment around them.
“Let’s say you have a machine shop
with exposed egg-crate T12 fluorescent
fixtures, and the fixture and lamps are
covered with years of dirt,” says Markowitz. “Now the amount of illumination
is compromised due to light depreciation
from the dirt. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t the right fixture to put into
These issues can sidetrack your auditing success, so make sure to avoid them.
Volume: Every space means every
space, even the smallest ones. A janitor’s
closet with one hanging light in it still
counts, so don’t forget to account for its
lamp and measure the space on your audit.
Documentation: Rebates and incentives can add another layer of difficulty
to accounting for everything due to the
sheer amount of detail required. It’s
vital that you take exact measurements,
Bridges explains – many tax deductions
are based on square footage, for example,
so some of the spaces in your facility may
qualify while others don’t.
Strategy: Don’t overlook retrofit
opportunities that could yield savings,
Markowitz says. Lighting controls and
daylight harvesting can both dramatically reduce energy usage, especially
when used together. Utilities and state
programs may cover some of the cost, but
it’s vital that you research them because
in many areas, local organizations don’t
market their efficiency programs widely.
Janelle Penny janelle.penny@buildings.
com is Senior Editor of BUILDINGS.
The Value of In-House Lighting Audits continued from page 9
ENERGY FACT: U.S. POWER PLANTS USED RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
TO GENERATE ABOUT 13% OF THE ELECTRICITY PRODUCED IN THE UNITED
STATES IN 2014, ACCORDING TO THE ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION.
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