There is a Massive Need for Lighting Retrofit

Freedom Hall Civic Center 06No matter how small or large your business or organization, energy efficient LED lighting retrofits help save money and preserve our environment. This is especially true in the larger government and institutional structures that have aged over time and are spending entirely too much money to provide quality lighting. Though the structures may have been constructed to last only a particular length of time, it’s very common for these buildings to still be used long after they were expected to be retired. Here is a little more information on how LED lighting retrofits can help provide better performance and reliability for years to come in these structures.

Public Buildings Need a Lighting Retrofit

In America, the 2008 economic recession caused serious problems for agencies and institutions as lower income and budget cuts demanded that older buildings continue in use that may have been slated for replacement. The U. S. Energy Information Administration’s 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey provided us with a glimpse into the energy efficiency of these structures. It reported that while the average age of structures was 32 years, new structures tended to have a much larger floor space than older structures on the survey. The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics reported that buildings being used by public educational institutions were significantly older yet, with an average age of 42 years.

Energy Efficiency is the Key

What does this mean for these structures’ energy efficiency? These structures were, on average, being built in the mid to late 1970s, which was around the same time that the U.S. Department of Energy was initially formed as a temporary measure to transition the U.S. off of oil dependency. It was created at the birth of the energy efficiency and sustainability movement. Though these structures were designed with higher energy efficiency in mind, the advances made over the intervening three or four decades means that these structures are often horribly out of date in terms of modern energy technologies. But that doesn’t mean the building performance can’t be improved.

Cost Savings are Significant

But what kind of savings can be expected in retrofitting an older structure as compared to simply building a new one? It’s a significant enough difference that the U.S. Navy dedicated itself to a four-phase retrofit of Naval Air Station Oceana near Virginia Beach, Virginia. Among the changes is the retrofitting of over 40,000 lighting fixtures on the station. Combined with other energy-saving retrofits, it’s expected that the changes will save the station $6.07 million every year. This means the $89.6 million retrofits will be paid off within 15 years.

Even better during a time of slow economic recovery, no further taxpayer investment is expected for the retrofits due to the use of an Energy Savings Performance Contract. These

contracts essentially pay to the contractor the difference between the existing energy consumption costs and the lower costs of energy from the retrofit, so the $6 million that is saved goes directly to pay off the cost of the project. Because the cost of the retrofit doesn’t require any additional funds, it’s much easier to approve.

Just because a structure is still in use long after it was expected to be retired doesn’t mean it can’t be used effectively and efficiently, especially as our economy continues to recover. If you need help figuring out whether an energy efficient LED lighting retrofit is right for your organization or agency’s purposes, please feel free to contact us today. At Retro-Tech Systems, we’re always happy to help you find the right lighting retrofit solution for your exact situation.