A simple retail energy analysis will pinpoint your current energy costs, most of which will be found in your lighting system, with an estimated 37% to 43% of your total expenditure. Fortunately, there are exciting lighting options you can choose to lower these expenses.
Use a Checklist to Help You Examine Your Energy Costs
To evaluate your building’s energy performance, review monthly costs (or annual costs, if easier) for:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Water heating
- Office equipment (computers, etc.)
Your monthly (or annual) bill is based on the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed, and you can expect to find that your lighting costs comprise your biggest expenditure in energy and, therefore, generate the highest costs. To address energy expenses, find energy savings.
There are Easy Changes That Help Reduce Energy Use
The traditional advice given to help save energy has always been to turn off, turn down, clean up and maintain. This can be done with a combination of established protocols, central controls, timers and motion and light sensors:
- Aside from instructions to staff to cooperate with energy saving initiatives, you can use automated lighting controls for shutting off or dimming lights, with a separate system for special circumstances such as keeping window displays lit all night.
- Lower temperatures when possible.
- Keep lamps clean, and replace furnace and air conditioning filters regularly.
- Schedule timely repairs and replacements, and regular inspections of heating and cooling systems.
- Use photocells or light sensors for all-night outdoor lighting.
- Use timers or motion sensors for restricted or low traffic areas.
- Use natural light when possible and lights with dimming controls for areas that receive partial natural light.
Some Things about Lighting will Never Change
Lighting may be your highest energy expenditure, but it is an important component of all successful retail marketing strategies. Economies in energy can’t be at the expense of necessary visibility, comfort, safety, task performance and customer attraction and interest:
- You need high quality lighting to attract customers into and through your store, encourage pleasurable feelings of well-being, draw attention to featured items and help customers assess products and make purchasing decisions.
- High-end boutiques and stores with luxury items depend on striking uplighting and downlighting, mood lighting and special dramatic effects which appeal to the emotions and help drive sales.
- Well-lit display cases and cashier sites are important in all stores, and in workstations and change rooms, as well.
- Retail brand identity is closely tied to the style of lighting used and its appeal to the store’s target market.
The Solution is to Spend Money to Save Money
Advice for saving energy now includes a new suggestion—the most dramatic savings can be found by replacing your outdated fixtures and incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED) lamps. You can expect savings of 70% or more on your lighting expenses with these energy-efficient lighting choices.
When considering the outlay to replace the more expensive CFL and LED lamps and fixtures, consider these factors:
- The lifespan of CFL and LED lamps is much longer and one halogen lamp (2,000 hours) would have to be replaced 37 times compared to one replacement LED down light (75,000 hours).
- Since retail lamps often have to be replaced by a worker using a ladder or scaffolding to reach them, you also save on the cost of routine lamp replacement.
- The heat from many incandescent lamps can be so extreme, air conditioning systems have to be set higher using increased energy.
- There are still government grants and utility rebates for replacing light fixtures and lamps indoors and out with energy-saving choices.
Exciting lighting options are waiting for you with dramatically low operating costs. Call us now and we will help you with a retail energy analysis and show you how to take advantage of state-of-the art lighting solutions that will save you money. For more information, contact Lighting Solutions Worldwide: website: www.retaillightinganddesign.com; phone: 866-203-0434; email: firstname.lastname@example.org