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New fluorescent standards affect businesses

Jeff Koeppel, K & B Electric LLC 10:55 a.m. CDT September 29, 2014; Published Sept. 17th, 2014

greenbaypressgazette.com

 


Photo provided by:
Randy Johnson
US Lamp, Inc

Jeff Koeppel K&B Electric LLC Green Bay Wisconsin
Koeppel

As we approach the fourth quarter of 2014, the term “Go Green” has become a way of life to some.  But to others, the changes to greater energy efficiency, and the energy cost savings that gets people excited may still be hovering around somewhere on HOLD. 

Facility managers may have yet to do their research, prepare a budget plan, or plead their case in planning meetings and/or to board members.

As of Jan. 1, Congress no longer delayed the implementation of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which imposed U.S. government minimum efficiency standards.

Thus, it was lights out for the incandescent light bulbs we’ve all known since childhood.  As of Jan. 1, this year, the consumer popular 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs could no longer be manufactured here or imported for sale; as well as, globes and decorative bulbs with medium bases rated greater than 40W.  [The 100-watt and 75-watt incandescent bulbs were already phased out in 2012.]

Recent studies indicate only 28 to 40 percent of U.S. adults were aware of the planned phase out; which means 6% to 72 percent of adults were not.  Realizing this, home improvement retailers stocked up on the incandescent bulbs in an effort to help consumers transition more easily toward the curly top compact fluorescent light [CFL] bulbs and LED lighting systems.

What about commercial, industrial, and institutional environments?   In many cases large and small business environments already have, or will be switching to LED lighting.  Some will be retrofitting old fluorescent bulbs with current, more energy-efficient fluorescent systems. 

If you’ve been considering fluorescent lighting upgrades at your facility, changes to federal efficacy standards for linear fluorescent lighting may help you decide to act sooner rather than later.

Starting July 14, new Dept. of Energy regulations increased the minimum efficiency requirements for many categories of linear fluorescent lamps.  Industry linear fluorescent lamps can no longer be manufactured here or imported for sale, but current inventories may be sold until depleted.

Effective back in 2010, T12 magnetic ballasts could no longer be manufactured or imported for sale, thus, the only type of ballast available for purchase for T12 lamps were electronic.   Then, effective July 14, 2012, all linear fluorescent lamps manufactured here or imported for sale in the U.S. had to meet more stringent efficacy standards.

The increase in energy efficiency standards effectively eliminated the production of all T12 fluorescent technologies as well as the original T8 fluorescent lamps.  T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts are considered outdated compared to today’s T8 and T5 fluorescent technologies.

The change in standards is the DOE's effort to remove less energy-efficient T12 fluorescent systems from the marketplace and to encourage commercial and industrial facilities to improve efficiency.

Should I upgrade all my T12 lamps now? Yes!  Take advantage of available cash incentives for replacing T12 fixtures with premium T8 or T5 fluorescent lamps and ballasts.

By converting now, you will benefit from available incentives, as well as immediate energy savings that will help your business save money on utility costs year after year.

In addition, newer T8 and T5 technologies create better quality light and give off less heat, reducing air conditioning cooling loads.  New lighting requires little to no maintenance with the latest versions rated up to 90,000 hours of operation, lasting up to 4.5 times as long as T12 lamps, reducing maintenance costs associated with lamp changes.

Going green is good for our environment, reducing energy costs long-term is good for business.

About the Author:
Jeff Koeppel, Managing Partner of K & B Electric LLC, an Electrical Contractor & Lighting Contractor.  Contact him at (920) 655-3676 or service@kbelectriccompany.com or visit www.kbelectriccompany.com.
Source:  Green Bay Press-Gazette.com 
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