Install Automatic Controls for Lighting
The Carbon Trust survey noted that lighting was frequently left on in many empty classrooms and other unoccupied areas, both during and outside core teaching hours.
In addition, lighting was on in areas where natural light provided more than adequate light levels during the day - for example, in some classrooms and hallways areas. Needless to say, this kind of wastage results in hundreds or even thousands of pounds lost every year in each school.
There is a common misconception that it is cheaper to leave fluorescent lighting on permanently. Generally speaking, if lighting is to be switched off for more than 8 seconds then it is cheaper to switch off than to leave it switched on.
Switching off lighting when it is not required can achieve savings of up to 90% in rarely used areas such as basements or store cupboards. In areas that are occupied for part of the day, savings will be reduced but still significant.
Individuals are given responsibility for switching off lighting when rooms become unoccupied - including classrooms, basement/plant areas, empty offices etc.
For areas that are not in current operation i.e. from late afternoon, evening, night or weekends, all or much of the lighting be switched off.
Consideration is given to installation of movement and light-sensitive automatic lighting controls to intermittently occupied or well-lit areas. Classrooms, corridors, halls and offices may be areas that would benefit from controls.
Switching off lighting is integrated within a “switch off” policy and energy awareness campaign.
Carry out a detailed survey at each site to assess all areas for automatic lighting controls. Further funded help may be available for this, or lighting suppliers may offer this for free.
Note that whilst is important that lighting controls are considered as energy effective, any measures taken leave sufficient light for the task required. Health and safety should not be compromised as a result of reducing lighting levels or on times.
Summary of actions
Integrate lighting within the school “switch off” policy.
Switch off all lighting when not required.
Further investigate the possibility of intelligent lighting controls. Ensure this is undertaken by an independent professional
Relevant Carbon Trust publications:
GIR092 - Energy Efficiency in Lighting
GIL126 - Lighting Fact Sheet
For further information, contact Property Services Energy Manager, Alan Dowdell - telephone 01962 847768