New research by the Carbon Trust claims there’s £700m to be saved and 4.4m tonnes of CO2 to be cut every year by rethinking the way approach we approach lighting.

The Carbon Trust has today (December 5) launched a new guide offering businesses guidance on how to choose the most energy efficient lighting without compromising on the quality of the light emitted.

The guidance shows that cost-effective measures such as lighting refurbishment and sensor-based controls can lead to annual cost savings of 20% across all organisations, or the equivalent of 12 week’s worth of carbon emissions for Greater London.

Installation of lighting controls can cut electricity use by 30-50% across industries including food and manufacturing, retail and typical office environments.

Lighting accounts for a fifth of electricity generated in the UK, and so even straightforward no or low-cost measures such as switching lights off and adjusting basic controls and settings, could still save up to £350m or a very significant 2.2mt of CO2 per year.

Carbon Trust Programmes director, Richard Rugg, said: “As the Christmas lights go on and the days grow shorter, I’m urging businesses to think about the huge savings they could make by boosting the efficiency of their lighting systems.

“From simple reminders to turn the lights off, to installing the latest in lighting technology, there’s £700m and 4.4million tonnes in CO2 emissions to be saved by UK businesses making its lighting more efficient.

“The guide demonstrates how businesses can dramatically reduce both their carbon output and their bottom line. During this dark time of the year the advice the guide offers couldn’t be more relevant and implementing these simple measures will result in reduced costs across your business.”

According to the trust home retailer WJ Aldiss made yearly cost savings of £20,000 by replacing lighting in both its stores and its distribution centre.

The existing T8 fluorescent light fittings were replaced with T5 high frequency fittings, while other fixtures were converted through the introduction of low voltage downlights cutting CO2 emissions by 181 tonnes a year.

The Carbon Trust’s is also running a free webinar on how to reduce running costs and improve the lighting in your building on December 14 at 12pm.

Luke Walsh

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