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ENERGY - LIGHTING IN BROAD DAYLIGHT A


An idiom referring to a crime committed that could easily have been seen and prevented.


fter 12 years of green policies, climate change, legislation and incentives we are beginning to see these affect energy management policy and action at local level. The UK government announced that incandescent light bulbs would be phased out in 2007


which came into effect in 2011. To give some perspective of the UKs resistance to change in in our energy habits we are a full six years behind Venezuela and Brazil (2005), India had already replaced 400 million incandescent bulbs by 2012 (The energy savings and resultant carbon emissions savings was predicted to be around 55 million tonnes per year). So the challenge is to see how many buildings are wasting energy by unnecessarily illuminating them in broad daylight.


The crime is the waste of money, particularly in car parks, loading bays and service corridors which, more often than not, are illuminated by fluorescent tube arrays. Less common but still easily found are the hugely wasteful T8 tubes. Not only do they gallop through electricity, they pose all sorts of disposal problems for the owner/operators; sharps hazard, mercury and phosphorous. And they were not designed for outside use so their useful life is reduced from about 36 months to typically 22 months in car parks. The hazards also apply to T5 tubes but T5s have greater reliability and some flexibility. The greatest attraction to fluorescent has been the cheapness of luminaire units and their universal use up to the early noughties. However the hidden costs are: the life of the bulb, the energy consumed and the operational down time to replace failed bulbs. Between 2007 and 2012 energy prices rose by 63% and with energy price inflation at about 8% p.a. our energy costs in winter 2014/2015 is almost double that of 2007. In bottom line terms that means that a 300 space car park (400-500 T5 fluorescent) now costs in the order of £50,000 p.a. to illuminate.


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PUBLIC SECTOR ESTATES MANAGEMENT • JANUARY 2015


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