Business owners are increasingly becoming aware that they can cut costs by upgrading to energy-efficient lighting. That’s because about 40% of the electricity used in a typical commercial building goes toward lighting. Getting out of the gate, however, can be a challenge, especially when many different solutions exist, requiring extensive research into costs and benefits.
With that in mind, Precision-Paragon [P2], a division of Hubbell Lighting, Inc., now offers a free web app that provides a starting point with an estimated range of cost, savings, and environmental benefits for lighting retrofit projects in offices, warehouses, and manufacturing spaces.
“We wanted to create something that would be easy to use and that would help facility operators understand how retrofits can save money and, at the same time, benefit the environment,” said Ray Pustinger, [P2]’s vice president and general manager. “The web app is simple and straightforward and presents compelling reasons to implement energy-efficient lighting.” The Lighting Retroﬁt Calculator is available on the [P2] web site and can be embedded in most other web sites.
Here’s how it works: Select the facility type you’re interested in retrofitting, the amount you’re paying per kW hour of electricity, the square footage of your facility, and its annual hours of operation. If you’re unsure about a ﬁeld, the calculator provides suggestions. Then click “calculate.” The app quickly processes an initial estimate for project cost, energy savings, cost savings, and years to reach payback. It also calculates environmental benefits, such as number of cars taken off the road for one year, gallons of gasoline not burned, and households powered for one year with the electricity that is saved.
“The potential to reduce greenhouse gases and the nation’s reliance on non-renewable resources through retrofits is huge, and this app can help facility operators take the first steps in getting there,” Pustinger said. “The calculator sets the table for the next steps: establishing a budget, engaging an energy efficiency professional to evaluate the right technology for the facility, and securing investment-grade relighting proposals and scopes of work.” In California alone, lighting accounts for 35% of electricity use in the commercial sector. Those commercial buildings, totaling five billion square feet of space, consume more electricity than any other end-use sector in California, according to the Public Utilities Commission.