Original Date: 11/17/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Lighting Efficiency
Elizabethtown College has been a participant in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Lights program since 1993. Green Lights is a voluntary pollution prevention program that encourages participants to use energy efficient lighting technologies to improve lighting quality and reduce environmental emissions in their facilities. Partners in the Green Lights program sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) whereby they agree to conduct lighting surveys of their facilities, identify areas where existing lighting can be upgraded, and complete all lighting upgrades that are financially advantageous to their organization.
Elizabethtown College’s Department of Plant Operations conducted detailed lighting audits and/or surveys of 681,000 square feet of classroom, office, laboratory, assembly, and dining service space. As of April 1997, 554,000 square feet of this space (85% of the total campus) had been upgraded. These efforts included replacing mercury vapor lighting with metal halide; upgrading all indoor fluorescent fixtures to T-8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts; and using high-pressure sodium fixtures for outdoor lighting. Plant Operations replaced 9,000 lighting fixtures across the entire campus, and installed motion sensors where applicable. The new fixtures last longer, conserve electricity, and improve the quality of light. In addition, Plant Operations converted 313 exit signs from 25-watt to one-watt fixtures. The longer life of these fixtures exemplifies the labor cost savings associated with lighting efficiency upgrades. Over the past three years, none of the bulbs in the exit signs have needed replacement. This upgrade saved Elizabethtown College approximately $13,000 per year in labor and electricity costs. The College’s lighting efficiency efforts also reduced environmental pollutants released into the atmosphere (Table 2-1) by decreasing electrical power requirements.
Through its participation in the Green Lights program, Elizabethtown College reduced its annual electricity consumption by 1,935,130 kilowatt hours per year. This reduction translated to an annual energy cost savings of $82,000. In November 1996, the EPA awarded Elizabethtown College a Gold Medal and a Dream Team Medal for its achievements in preventing environmental pollution through lighting efficiency upgrades. The College also received the EPA’s Certificate of Achievement in April 1997 for its successful completion of all commitments made under the Green Lights program’s MOU.
Plant Operations’ ongoing Total Quality Service (TQS) program also influenced the success of the lighting efficiency efforts. Through its TQS program, Plant Operations built credibility at all levels of the campus, and developed an attitude of continuous improvement and customer service. Success was achieved by adopting simple, small, incremental changes which are implemented every day by an empowered workforce. This philosophy enables Plant Operations to develop a broad environmental commitment to the campus, and aids the Department in implementing other energy efficiency efforts.
Table 2-1. Pollution Prevention Results from Lighting Efficiency Upgrades
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.