According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), buildings account for about 41% of the primary energy use in the U.S. – accounting for more 44% more energy use than the industrial sector and 36% more energy use than the transportations sector1 – and a corresponding percentage of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.
Energy use in the commercial sector coincides with peak electrical demand and contributes to a building’s internal heat generation, increasing air-conditioning load. Corporate owners see the business advantages of investing in green buildings and energy efficiency in their existing building portfolios. Energy efficiency is only one component of a green building, but it is a driving force to help companies and the country achieve their goals.
The way energy is used in a commercial building influences the development of energy efficiency strategies. The most important energy end-use across the stock of commercial buildings is lighting. Lighting accounts for over 26% of the electrical energy use in existing commercial buildings and 14% in existing residential buildings.1
NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the largest trade association representing the industry, estimates that manufacturers use of rare earth phosphors instead of halo phosphates, the development of smaller fluorescent lamp diameters (T8 and T5) together with the shift from magnetic to high efficiency, electronic ballasts have lead to a 40-50% improvement is systems efficiency. This efficiency improvement results in reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants including mercury. The introduction of pulse start technology and ceramic arc tubes has significantly increased the efficiency of metal halide systems. High efficiency halogen, compact fluorescent and LED sources along with energy saving lighting control systems round out the solution options available to increase the efficiency and reduce the operating costs of both interior and exterior lighting for all types of commercial buildings.
For our customers, installing energy efficient lighting is one of the most effective, sustainable design strategies available today. Reduced energy usage means reduced utility emissions, which means less air pollution and related human health effects. It also means reduced operating costs which helps improve the bottom line in today’s competitive market place.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency