Five Actions For 2013 That Will Save $'s

Business owners can achieve significant savings in 2013 by taking 5 action steps. The first recommendation is to upgrade their lighting.

(First of a 5 part series)

Business owners can reduce their impact on the environment and reduce the cost of operations at the same time. Here is the first of five actions you can take that will save your business money.

Switching out incandescent bulbs for Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) will provide savings in electricity, labor and product purchase. This is because the average LED provides 50,000 hours of light compared to 1,200 hours for incandescent and 8,000 for compact fluorescent bulbs. That means fewer purchases and fewer man hours spent changing bulbs. LEDs also use on average 6 to 8 watts of electricity with equal light output compared to 60 watts for an incandescent or 13-15 watts for a compact fluorescent bulb; that means significant savings on electricity. ("Watts" is the measure of electricity used. "Lumens" is the measure of light.)

Sometimes changing lighting is more complicated that just switching out a bulb, especially when working with displays or refrigeration units. The Lighting Design Lab in Seattle has experienced lighting specialists that will meet with you to review plans for your project and recommend efficient lighting control strategies. They can offer technical assistance and inform you of available rebates. They also offer classes, mock-ups and tours.

Seattle City Light operates the Lighting Design Lab with support from the Northwest regional utilities and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Is your business in Puget Sound Energy's service area for electricity? PSE also offers rebates for lighting upgrades. "PSE'sEnhanced Lighting Programoffers a bonus over PSE's standard incentive level for customers who implement comprehensive retrofits involving all lighting associated with a building. This program provides incentives of $0.30 per kWh/yr saved, up to a maximum of 70 percent of the eligible project cost, for custom lighting retrofits that replace all inefficient lighting, interior and exterior, with more efficient options like CFLs, LEDs, T8s, T5s or others." There is an application process involved so check out their website before taking action.

(T-8 or T-5 refers to fluorescent tubes with diameters measured by an eighth of an inch. T-5 has a 5/8 " tube; T-8 has a 1" diameter.)

Businesses located inside Snohomish PUD service area can access their lighting rebate program. "The PUD pays incentives up to 70% of the project cost, which increases your ROI significantly. In the process, the PUD provides you and your contractor with technical advice to help ensure that the project delivers expected energy savings." 

Next week: Taking More Of The "Waste" Out Of Your Waste Stream

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