Intelligent Lighting Controls Deliver ROI in 3 Years

by | Oct 16, 2009

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RogersCentre2More building owners and managers are considering intelligent lighting systems to cut energy use because lighting, on average, accounts for approximately one-quarter of a building’s overall electricity use, rivaled only by HVAC and office equipment, according to Gary Meshberg, LEED, AP, and director of sales for Encelium Technologies.

State-of-the-art lighting systems reduce costs, demonstrate an overall commitment to being environmentally friendly, as well as contribute toward higher building values, higher tenant retention rates and overall end-user satisfaction, said Meshberg.

As an example, Encelium Technologies’ Energy Control System (ECS) uses addressable networking technology in combination with advanced control hardware and software, which can be integrated with HVAC, security and irrigation systems.

ECS uses a universal I/O (input/output) module to connect to standard lighting components such as low-voltage non-dimming ballasts, and occupancy sensors or photo sensors for digital control capabilities. The system allows each person to control his or her own workspace light levels from their desktop computer, and provides facility managers with energy management capabilities.

Installation of an intelligent lighting system also provides a significant return on investment (ROI), said Meshberg. He cites the following example. ECS installations, which cost between $3.00 and $3.50 per square foot for existing space, are designed to reduce lighting-related energy costs by 50 to 75 percent, so the projected savings of 75 cents to $1.25 per square foot per year means that the installation cost is amortized in less than three years.

As an example, the Rogers Centre sports and entertainment complex in Toronto, with approximately 7,000 light fixtures, cut its energy use by 77 percent, or by 3,731,000 KWh annually, with an ECS installation, according to Meshberg. The complex also achieved a 39 percent reduction in energy demand and a savings of 76 percent for energy costs. This translates into a cost savings of about $300,000 per year for the complex.

Meshberg also said ECS installations ease the way for buildings to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) certification, contributing up to 18 points needed for certification, as well as facilitate a building’s compliance with ASHRAE 90.1, EPAct, Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations and various utility rebate programs.

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