United States

DOE Programs in support of the CEM Global Lighting Challenge

The US Department of Energy is advancing a number of programs to accelerate adoption and use of the next generation of lighting, including R&D; investments and public/private partnerships. These programs bring down product costs, ensure product quality, and help consumers benefit from these advanced technologies.

Research and Development; Working with Industry

The transition to advanced, high efficiency lighting in the US is underway. Lower costs, improved performance, and other benefits such as long lifetime and maintenance savings are rapidly moving LED lighting into the mainstream. In just two years, total installations of common home LED A-type bulbs increased six-fold from 13 million to 78 million-particularly rapid growth considering there were fewer than 400,000 installations as recently as 2009. These installations now make up 2.4% of all lighting of this type, coinciding with a nearly 90% drop in costs in the same time period.

This success is a direct result of government-industry R&D; investments to bring down costs, improve efficiency and performance, and foster domestic manufacturing of LED lighting components and products. In the past decade, strategic investments by the US Energy Department (DOE) have helped to make the United States the hub of LED lighting innovation. Today, America is beginning to reap the rewards of these years of investment. Looking at the bigger picture across all LED product types, LED installations saved $1.4 billion in energy costs and 9.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2014 alone.

DOE and many in the lighting industry are looking toward the potential energy savings in the commercial sector offered by replacing fluorescent overhead lighting common in most offices. Energy impacts in these applications are disproportionally high relative to market share because of the large number of installations and extended operating hours. In contrast to lighting in homes, which average less than two hours of operation per day, commercial and industrial lighting fixtures average about 12 hours of operation per day.

The combination of increased performance, lifetime, reliability, quality, and cost decrease of LEDs relative to conventional lighting means that they are predicted to dominate the future of lighting with projections showing LEDs reaching over 80% of all lighting sales by 2030. This would save Americans $26 billion per year in electricity costs all while cutting America's lighting electricity use by nearly half.

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Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator

Outdoor lighting consumes a significant amount of energy, about 1.3 quadrillion Btu annually, costing about $10 billion per year. In 2014, there were 45 million area and roadway lights installed in the U.S., 5.7 million of which were LEDs. If all 45 million fixtures were to switch to LEDs “overnight”, it would save 19 TWh of site electricity, or about 201 tBtus of source energy. This equates to an annual energy cost savings of over $2Billion.

The Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator(OLA) is working with dozens of municipalities over a two-year period to accelerate the deployment of high efficiency outdoor lighting in the public sector, with the conversion goal of over 1,500,000 lighting fixtures, while developing best practice approaches to system-wide street lighting upgrades for this period and the longer term. The Accelerator applies to all categories of outdoor lighting for which local governments or states pay the energy bills and focuses on addressing structural and financial issues that limit investment in high efficiency technologies like LED street lights. To date, current partners have committed to upgrading over 720,000 with more commitments expected.

New LED state-of-the-art technologies offer energy savings of about 50% over conventional lighting technologies, in large part from their two to five times longer lifetimes and reduce maintenance requirements. Some municipalities are achieving an additional savings of 20 to 40% by adding controls and sensors for greater operational efficiencies. Beyond cost and energy savings, the higher efficacy of LED lights provides other benefits, including reduced carbon emissions helping cities reach carbon reduction goals, reduced light pollution from less light being directed into the night sky due to optical control, and greater perceived public safety because of improved visibility, more uniform lighting distribution, and the elimination of many dark areas between poles.

We are seeing partners make progress by implementing solutions to overcome longstanding barriers. For example, the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) partnered with Puget Sound Energy and Avista Utilities to launch the Relight Washington program, which will assist over a hundred small cities with street light upgrades. On a regional basis, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Council (DVRPC) in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, is working with dozens of mid- to small- size cities to implement a joint regional streetlight procurement program to leverage low-interest energy-efficiency financing and guaranteed savings agreements with the selected energy services company (ESCO).

We will continue to amplify the success of projects with solution pathways demonstrating how municipalities are overcoming regulatory, technical, and financial barriers to enable others to accelerate deployment and realize the energy, environmental, and economic benefits of high performance street lighting.

For more information, visit the Better Buildings Solutions Center.

Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking Campaign

The Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking Campaign (LEEP) was launched in 2012 to address the $6.7 Billion in potential savings available if all parking lighting switched to Better Buildings specifications. The US economy collectively spends over $18 Billion annually on parking lot and structure lighting, so efficiency gains mean returning capital to companies and institutions. For this reason, DOE partnered with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), the Green Parking Council, The international Facility Management Association (IFMA), and the International Parking Institute (IPI) to maximize the reach of the campaign.

Through LEEP, DOE encourages commercial parking lot and garage owner/managers to take advantage of the Campaign's proven opportunity to save energy and money by using high efficiency lighting technology. Furthermore, state-of-the-art lighting technologies can last 2 to 5 times longer than traditional outdoor lights. These systems pay for themselves quickly by cutting energy costs up to 70% and maintenance costs up to 90%. The goal of the LEEP Campaign is to have energy efficient lighting planned or installed in at least 750 million square feet of parking space, and the campaign has reached over 65% of that goal to date. LEEP Participants are collectively saving over 120 million kilowatt-hours and $10 million annually.

DOE recognized specific projects in both 2014 and 2015 for their achievements. These include awards to Walmart, the University of Minnesota, Marine Corp Base Quantico, Arby’s Restaurants, Kimco Realty, and the Detroit & Denver Airports. More information can be found at www.leepcampaign.org.

The Interior Lighting Campaign

The Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC) is a recognition and guidance program designed to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities from high efficiency interior lighting solutions. It was launched at the Better Buildings Summit in May 2015 in partnership with Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the US General Services Administration (GSA).

Through the process of analyzing high impact technologies, interior lights combined with sensors and controls was identified as having the highest potential for national savings. Lighting accounts for roughly 20% of the electricity use in a typical commercial building; $40 billion annually. The most common light source in these indoor applications is the linear fluorescent lamp. Switching these lights to products consistent with the ILC would save $4 Billion annually.

The initial goal for ILC was to replace 100,000 standard troffers with high efficiency troffer lighting by May 2016. Due to a high level interest, the goal was increased to 1 million troffers, or roughly 100 million square feet of lighted space. If this goal is reached, partners in the ILC will achieve savings of approximately 60 million kilowatt-hours, worth over $6 million; equivalent to the annual electricity use in 5,500 homes.

Awards for outstanding projects will be given at the 2016 Building Owners and Managers Association Conference. For more information, go to http://interiorlightingcampaign.org.


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