Facility managers: 'LEDs top all energy efficiency measures' Let's say you're in charge of energy use at the company and you want to take big steps to slash the bill. Who you gonna call? A building insulator? A smart meter salesman? The most common answer is....

'An LED vendor.'

That's according to a poll of over 100 UK energy professionals in the public and private sector by Energy Live News (ELN), which asked them to name which measures they took over the last year, and which ones they are planning.

'LEDs were the most popular choice for energy professionals to save energy over the last year – and they look set to remain favourites for the next 12 months,' the website reported.

83 percent of respondents said they tapped LED lighting over the last year, and 80 percent said they'll bring in LEDs over the next 12 months.

The number-two measure both for last year and the upcoming one didn't even involve outright product purchases, as managers reported that 'changing culture and behaviour' was also high on their list (in other words, remember to turn off the efficient new LEDs).

The poll did not specifically ask about new boilers, solar panel installations or building managemet systems, although those did receive write-in votes.

'Insulation, variable speed drives, AMT or smart meters and energy management systems tied third, each being installed over the last year by around two fifths of energy professionals,' ELN wrote.

As popular as LEDs were among respondents, they elicited some reality checks from ELN readers in the website's comments section.

'When it comes to lighting LED is not quite the panacea for all ills it’s set up to be,' wrote one. 'Manufacturers are making grandiose claims about the longevity of these fittings without the evidence to back them up – the technology is so new there just haven’t been the number of hours in a year to claim they’ll last 100,000 hours or whatever they claim.'

To that, another reader shot back, 'Have you not heard of accelerated testing?'

One fan of LEDs commented that it might still be too early to splash out for them.

'Buying LED today may not be the best option,' he said. 'It might be better to wait a few years when efficacies will be even higher, as in many applications they have the potential to last 20-30 years and in that situation you may be better off with an optimised package that will go the distance.?' 

In a cautionary tale, he added, 'A lot of LED packages are poorly selected/sold and they will be replaced a lot earlier than hoped for.?'

Poorly sold? Hmmmm. Sounds like the poll needs a subcateory: Changing the culture and behaviour of vendors.

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Photo: To avoid this sort of utility bill shock, energy managers are turning to LEDs more than anything. Image is from Shutterstock