With the cost of energy continually on the rise, businesses are constantly searching for new ways to save money and reduce excesses.
As a result of this effort, as well as the growing wave of conservationism that is currently sweeping the nation, a renewed demand has been placed for products that reduce energy costs and the damaging effects of greenhouse gas emissions.
To create momentum for energy performance improvements within individual manufacturing sectors, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has teamed with thousands of partner organizations to develop programs such as the ENERGY STAR Industrial Focuses program. Focuses is designed to provide manufacturers with a proven energy management strategy to help companies measure current energy performances, set goals, track savings and reward improvements.
Among the assistance provided to the commercial business sector by the EPA is ongoing information about new industrial trends in energy use that can help manufacturing plants realize the latest energy-efficient opportunities.
The program has already helped more than 3,200 buildings nationwide to achieve the prestigious ENERGY STAR mark by using approximately 35 percent less energy than the average American building. This is a considerable savings since commercial buildings account for nearly 18 percent of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to Focuses, the EPA has also worked diligently with more than 9,000 public and private sector organizations to improve the energy and financial performance of their businesses, manufacture products to meet ENERGY STAR specifications, and promote the benefits of the ENERGY STAR program.
Since the program’s inception in 1992, the EPA estimates that more than two billion ENERGY STAR qualified products have been sold throughout the United States. Recently, the EPA also confirmed the program’s value by announcing that Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR products, saved about $12 billion on energy bills in 2005, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that equaled the exhaust of 23 million automobiles. In addition, the study also cited a significant reduction in 2005 energy consumption totaling 150 billion kilowatt hours (kWh).
With the benefits of the ENERGY STAR program so apparent, manufacturers should continually explore new ways to include energy efficient benefits into their building and specification packages. Among these benefits is the use of ENERGY STAR qualified lighting, which is available at price points and in a wide range of styles and finishes to suit the need and budget of nearly any commercial environment.
In terms of quality, today’s energy efficient lighting rivals and even surpasses its traditional counterparts in many ways. For instance, once known for a green hue and slight flicker, today’s ENERGY STAR qualified lighting is rigorously tested to ensure “no-flicker, no-hum” operation, instant starts, warmer color output and substantially reduced internal heat gain. They are also safer and easier to manage since they require less bulb changes, are cooler to the touch and reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases.
Still unconvinced? Here are several other reasons why your manufacturing business should include ENERGY STAR lighting in each and every project.
New Regulations. The Energy Information Administration, a statistical branch of the U.S. Department of Energy, recently predicted that American energy consumption will likely increase 30 percent by 2020 and an additional 6 percent by 2025. As a result, many local, state and federal government agencies have begun to develop and implement mandatory regulations designed to greatly reduce energy consumption and foster higher levels of conservation. Manufacturers that start to address energy-conservation issue now will be ahead of the curve when these regulations are actually enacted.
Reduced Energy Costs. Businesses of every kind can easily save hundreds of dollars per year by simply switching the most frequently used lighting fixtures to ENERGY STAR products. This is because ENERGY STAR qualified lighting not only uses 75 percent less energy to produce the same amount of light as traditional fixtures, it also utilizes bulbs that last more than 10 times longer than incandescent ones.
Advanced Quality. Many lighting manufacturers have worked closely with the EPA and others to advance fluorescent lighting technologies and fixture styles to make the latest ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures virtually indistinguishable from their traditional incandescent counterparts. The ENERGY STAR mark is only awarded to products that meet strict EPA criteria for efficacy, color rendition and temperature.
Improved Characteristics. ENERGY STAR qualified lighting products must prove themselves to be long lasting, use less energy than traditional lighting products without sacrificing quality, and offer a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Longer Lasting. ENERGY STAR qualified lighting fixtures use bulbs that last at least 10,000 hours compared to typical incandescent bulbs that last about 750 hours. Thus, ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures used for an average of three hours per day will not require bulb changes for at least eight to nine years, substantially reducing the nuisance and labor of buying, stocking and changing new bulbs.
Less Heat Generation. ENERGY STAR qualified lighting fixtures generate 78 percent less heat than standard incandescent lighting, which can translate into cooler rooms during summer months and additional savings on utility costs for air conditioning.
Less Maintenance. Since ENERGY STAR lighting lasts longer, there is a less of a need to change bulbs.
Ongoing informational support. For more information about ENERGY STAR qualified lighting, visit: http://www.energystar.gov.
Sea Gull Lighting Products, LLC is a two-time winner of the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award and was recently honored by the EPA with the 2007 ENERGY STAR Partner of Sustained Excellence Award.