Lowering light fixtures in high-ceiling areas saves, on average, $18,161 and is the no. 1 way plants can save money on lighting costs (see chart), according to the DOE’s Industrial Assessment Centers database of energy recommendations.
However, the most widely implemented way to save money on lighting is simply turning off lights when they’re not in use, according to the research centers that helps plants implement energy-efficiency improvements. Turning off lights, IAC says, saves on average $3,671.
The database, a collection of IAC’s publicly available assessment and recommendation data, includes information on the type of facility assessed — size, industry, energy usage, etc. — and details of resulting recommendations, such as energy and dollar savings.
The assessment begins with a university-based IAC team conducting a survey of the plant, followed by a one- or two-day site visit. The team conducts a detailed analysis for specific recommendations with estimates of costs, performance and payback times.
As of Nov. 2, the database contains 15,686 assessments and 117,834 recommendations. It can be searched by industry type, energy costs, products and savings among other topics, and can generate top 10 lists for specific criteria, such as lighting, which is Assessment Recommendation Code (ARC) 2.71. Top 10 lists can be sorted by implementation rate, average savings or times recommended.
According to IAC’s top 10 list, the most recommended way to save money on lighting is utilizing higher efficiency lamps and/or ballasts. IAC teams recommended it 11,210 times and say it produces $5,978 in average savings. According to the database, 56.2 percent of plants implemented this energy-saving recommendation. It cost, on average, $12,038.
Comparatively, turning off lights when they’re not in use has a total of 934 recommendations, and only costs, on average, $546 with an almost 67 percent implementation rate.
According to the database, keeping lamps and reflectors clean has the second highest average cost savings ($8,628). Using more efficient light sources ($6,577), installing skylights ($6,286) and adding area lighting switches ($6,113) round out the top 5.