Government says lighting is easiest way to cut energy

Colin Lawson is head of sales, marketing and product development at Tamlite Lighting.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has hailed sustainable lighting as the best way to improve energy efficiency in UK buildings.

'Interventions to upgrade lighting are usually easier than with central heating and ventilation and with rapidly improving lighting technology, lighting replacement is increasingly popular and cost-effective,' the BEIS states in its report. 

The study revelas that 10,930GWh/year of total annual energy savings can be delivered by modern LEDs and lighting technologies, and that in total over £1 billion of cash savings can be made by installing more efficient light.

BEIS also says lighting is the second largest area of energy consumption. With so many sectors living with lighting over 15 years old, the time for remedial action is now. BEIS shows that 28 percent of health space in the UK is lit by old, inefficient light, and 44 percent of military estates suffer from the same problem.

It all means vast energy and cash savings are at hand, along with more comfortably lit buildings for staff, customers and patients, if only sustainable lighting options are specified.

The findings

BEIS estimates more than a third of the total energy savings available can be delivered with a private investment payback of three years or less. This makes it hard to underestimate just how vast the impacts of retrofitting, or installing brand new sustainable lighting can be for every business.

All in all, the paper confirms what experts in the efficiency sector realise, modern, sustainable LED lighting stands ready to revolutionise the energy requirements, and building comfort of UK PLC.

Now, the message must be spread, to inspire nationwide take up and investment in better, more sustainable, cheaper to run offices and warehouses.

The challenges 

Of course, there are hurdles along the path to sustainable light. BEIS notes that perceived barriers to energy efficiency are largely economic, namely low capital availability and investment costs.

'Modern, sustainable LED lighting stands ready to revolutionise the energy requirements, and building comfort of UK PLC.'

Colin Lawson - Tamlite Lighting.

The following were also common: organisational barriers, barriers related to competencies and behavioural barriers like a lack of interest.

But, respondents said, elements to help them implement energy efficiency include improved energy management knowledge, increased availability of funding and greater buy in from stakeholders.

Tamlite, as an expert in modern, sustainable light, can advise you on energy management. We can carry out site surveys and we can also give you useful insights on ways to fund lighting improvements.

Not all funding is equal, and no business wants unnecessary risk. Therefore we've invested a lot of time in ensuring we understand how the upfront costs of modern light stack up with the realities of financing.

Getting past this hurdle is your first essential step to a more sustainable, more profitable buildings estate.

What comes next?

There is another, more subtle trend at work. By publishing the report, BEIS is signaling potential for future policy.

We can't be sure, but when Government invests in research, it is often as a precursor to policy interventions to enable necessary change.

So, it's likely that further measures to encourage UK firms to deliver energy efficiency, similar to the ESOS scheme, are on the way.

That means it is in your interests to futureproof your lighting estate now, and then you'll be well placed to benefit from tomorrow's policy and today's cash savings from cheaper energy bills . Plus, of course, the  many advantages of modern, wonderfully lit buildings.