Watch Out for These Challenges
These three issues can throw a wrench into your auditing plans. Take pains to avoid them for optimal results.
Complexity: Some well-meaning FMs may not remember to catalog every single space. Does the janitor’s closet have a light in it? If so, that lamp must be counted and the space must be measured. Rebates and incentives add another layer of difficulty because the sheer detail required can be overwhelming, Bridges notes.
Documentation: Mistakes in measurements can derail plans for financial rewards, Bridges says: “You can miss out on your tax deductions or rebates because something wasn’t documented correctly.”
That’s why it’s important to take exact measurements – many tax deductions are based on square footage, so some of your rooms may qualify, while others won’t.
Strategy: It’s easy to overlook certain opportunities that can yield big savings, Markowitz says. For example, lighting controls and daylight harvesting can dramatically reduce energy consumption, especially when used together. Utilities and state energy programs may even cover some of the cost.
Researching local and state incentives is essential, he adds, because in many areas, the information won’t come to you.
“Many utility and state organizations don’t do a very good job of marketing their efficiency programs,” Markowitz says. “If you’re considering an investment in an energy efficiency project, look for the incentives first. Use other people’s money whenever possible.”
Atlantic City, NJ
- Replace 6,500 150W incandescent lamps with 8W dimmable cold cathode fluorescents.
- Replace 29 obsolete dimming panels with new digital ones.
- Replace the computer controlling the dimming system with a new PC, theatrical show controller, and graphical user interface.
Contract Cost: $259,000
Savings: Approximately $135,000 per year
Other Benefits: Lamp life increased from 2,000 hours to 18,000.
Port Authority PATH Car Shop
New York, NY
Project Scope: Replace or upgrade over 1,600 light fixtures
in spaces including offices, shops, storage areas, track, pits, and building exterior
Contract Cost: $483,496
Savings: Approximately $121,000 per year
Other Benefits: Low color-rendering HPS light fixtures were
replaced with induction lighting on the building exterior and
long-life fluorescents on the interior, resulting in better color.
Janelle Penny firstname.lastname@example.org is associate editor of BUILDINGS.