Shopping centre shows what can be achieved with efficient lighting

Shopping centre shows what can be achieved with efficient lighting

What actions has your business taken to reduce costs by improving energy efficiency?

There are many measures that could help your organisation to realise these benefits, from small changes in office policies and staff habits, to larger projects that might require more investment but could deliver bigger results.

One attractive option is upgrading your lighting systems, which can make a big difference to how much power your firm consumes.

The potential benefits of this strategy were recently demonstrated at the Kennedy Centre, a retail development in Belfast, which has cut its electricity costs by 33 per cent following an upgrade to energy efficient lighting.

A 26-year-old lighting system in the centre's foyers, basement car park and toilets was ripe for renewal. The change to LED lights is thought to have saved 362 megawatt hours of electricity, with an expected payback period of 19 months on the investment.

John Jones, manager of the Kennedy Centre, pointed out that making improvements to lighting can offer business advantages beyond simply saving energy.

"Not only have we cut our energy costs significantly, the LEDs in the basement car park are a significant improvement; shoppers feel safer returning to their cars," he said. "The new lighting in the foyers has also made the centre more vibrant overall."

The shopping complex was able to install the more efficient lighting with a funding grant from energy provider Energia.

Energia energy services programme manager Janine O'Donnell commented: "The Kennedy Centre is following a wide range of businesses by making its operations more energy efficient."

This is one of many recent examples of firms and organisations focusing on the optimisation of their power consumption and limiting their impact on the environment.

As part of its Carbon Reduction Masterplan, London's Natural History Museum has signed a new ten-year energy performance contract with resource management company Veolia.

The museum has already introduced measures including combined heat and power systems for two of its sites, high-efficiency lighting and boiler replacement. These efforts have helped the attraction to exceed its guaranteed annual net savings of £54,000, after investment payback.

Richard Kirkman, chief technology and innovation officer at Veolia UK and Ireland, said: "By implementing the latest energy efficiency measures the Natural History Museum have been able to save on energy costs, which has funded these major enhancements."

Edie.net also highlighted the example of Heineken UK, which has reduced its energy consumption by 32 per cent since 2015 thanks to efficiencies at its beer-brewing and cider-making sites.

Smaller businesses focusing on cost-cutting, energy-saving and environmental improvements at their office premises can start out with small changes, such as making it easier for staff to recycle and switching off appliances when they are not in use.

Another positive practice for small firms is to only work with cleaning firms and other service suppliers that have proven green credentials.

Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of iStock/Woottigon