Lighting up energy savings in warehouses

One of the greatest energy consumers in warehouses is lighting so how can consumption be easily and cost effectively lowered, Contrac Lighting managing director Anne Shone looks at the issue.

The warehouse sector is responsible for emitting 10.2m tonnes of CO2 per annum, which equates to 3% of the total energy consumed in the UK.

In an average sized ambient warehouse (e.g. 150,000 m2) – with a small office attached – lighting was found to be responsible for 71% of the total energy consumed, with warehouse lighting specifically responsible for 65%.

A recent survey conducted by UKWA and the Carbon Trust highlighted that energy consumption could be reduced by10% by implementing simple ‘common sense’ energy saving strategies.

The real savings, however, can be achieved from installing new energy efficient technologies, as these can save up to 55% on energy bills, with ROI as little as 1 to 6 years for many.

It is estimated if all the warehouses in the UK were to do adopt a progressive approach to improving energy efficiencies this would equate to savings of over £200 million.

The thought of investing in new technologies in financially straitened times can be a daunting thought for many businesses, however there is financial support available for organisations who want to be ‘greener’.

The Carbon Trust is offering 0% loans from £1,000 to £100,000 to encourage organisations to install energy efficient technologies, which makes it a worthwhile consideration.

Another incentive, The Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme, which is also a Carbon Trust initiative, allows companies to write-off the whole cost of equipment against taxable profit in the year of purchase.

So every £1,000 spent on qualifying equipment would reduce a company’s tax bill in the year of purchase by £280 (based on a corporation tax rate of 28%).

Energy Efficient Lighting

Investing in energy efficient alternatives to replace out-dated lighting should be a serious consideration for many warehouses, particularly as it is estimated that 75% of all warehouses are using old inefficient systems.

There are a growing number of modern lighting solutions available that can deliver greater energy efficiencies, it is very important to bear in mind however, that one warehouse can be very different from the next.

A survey of the premises is essential to ensure the best solution is delivered.

It is not simply about installing light bulbs that use less energy.

Installing technologies that work alongside new lighting solutions such as control gear and occupancy and presence detectors can further improve efficiencies.

Occupancy and presence detectors are a perfect solution for warehouses as most have areas that are intermittently occupied.

Introducing them as part of a new lighting solution can mean as much as a 50% reduction in light and energy use.

According to the Carbon Trust in a 400m2 floor area presence detectors can deliver £664 and 3.8 tonnes of CO2 savings per annum.

Given that the average warehouse is much larger than this, savings can be significant.

Contrac Lighting design and manufacture tailored energy efficient lighting solutions for the retail, industrial, commercial and leisure industries.

The company manufactures a wide range of industrial lighting products, including the Nova range of linear luminaries. All Contrac Lighting’s products are manufactured in the UK.

For more information about Contrac Lighting visit

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