This is the third post in a series designed to help facility managers build a case for spending money on lighting upgrades.
Combining lighting upgrades with other capital projects can show greater return-on-investment (ROI) and strengthen the case. Here are some tips for maximizing energy savings and minimizing disruption:
Thinking about a simple lighting system upgrade? Or one with lighting, lighting controls and occupancy sensors? Or all of the above, plus a new HVAC system? Building Owners and Facility managers can often improve their chances of approval for a lighting system upgrade by combining it with other capital projects to buoy energy savings and minimize disruptions in the long-term. Smaller projects may save money in the short term, but may not be prudent long-term. The point is when there’s going to be a disruption, you want to get as much done as the budget can handle. Combining elective projects such as lighting system upgrades with non-elective projects such as upgrading the HVAC system makes sense.
It may be tempting to take the position that a lighting system upgrade will also reduce HVAC energy use. While it could be the case, it’s a very complex calculation, and one that has only a small degree of certainty in being accurate. Proper analysis typically involves a computer model. Though the calculation is difficult, it’s not impossible. Another more prudent approach is to list the possible HVAC energy reduction as a potentially unquantifiable “soft” benefit. In other words, you know there is a benefit—just not exactly what it is—so it’s not included in the hard-and-fast numbers.