Guide

Lighting energy efficiency

Six top tips for efficient business lighting

Inefficient lighting around your business premises can place a burden on your bottom line. Following the six steps below will help you to improve the way your lighting system operates and reduce your energy costs.

1. Understand your energy use. Go round all your lighting equipment, making a note of where it's installed and how it's used. Ask staff to let you know about any lighting problems and take action. Check that lamps, fittings and controllers are in good working order. Monitor your use of lighting for a period - you can use this for comparison purposes once you have made energy efficiency improvements.

2. Identify your opportunities. Make an energy checklist of your lighting. Walk round your building at different times of day to see where you could make savings. The Carbon Trust has produced guidance for businesses on implementing an effective energy management strategy. This includes a sample checklist that you could use as a template for your own document.

3. Prioritise your actions. Draw up an action plan setting out what improvements need to be made, who will make them and when they will be done. Include short-term measures - like writing an energy usage policy as well as long-term plans like a major lighting upgrade.

4. Seek specialist help. You may be able to put in place some energy saving measures yourself, but for others you'll probably need specialist help. Discuss complex and expensive options with a qualified technician. Check to see whether your organisation qualifies for tailored consultancy from the Carbon Trust.

5. Make changes and measure savings. Put in place all your energy saving measures and compare your performance against your original energy consumption figures. Use the information to help decide where more energy savings could be achieved.

6. Manage energy efficiently. Make sure that you maintain your energy savings in the future by regularly monitoring consumption and making sure that your energy policies and procedures are followed.