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Utilities – Now is the time to advance your lighting program!

In my previous blog I shared a primer of information on LIGHTFAIR International 2017, the anything and everything lighting trade show. Let’s explore now the elements in building a lighting program.  Utilities remain heavily dependent on lighting projects to meet their energy savings goals. This presents a challenge because the market is moving away from traditional approaches, like CFLs and other low-cost lighting mainstays. Changes in lighting design and technologies are disrupting the time-honored one-for-one replacement model necessitating a creative approach to capture savings. An Advanced Lighting Control (ALC) program is one creative measure that utilities are adopting to expand their energy savings. Diversification is a proven strategy to reduce risk in times of change and uncertainty.

Understanding your local lighting market is the first step in diversifying your energy portfolio. The lighting industry is moving beyond products and taking a systemic approach to illumination. Soon, when we think of lighting, we will think of the system that is providing the illumination, not just the individual fixtures. LED adoption is driving this trend. The technical nature of LEDs enable the easy integration of controls, creating the potential for savings three times higher than a typical prescriptive program. Advanced Lighting Controls are the foundation of next market transformation program in lighting for utilities. These projects also produce a variety of non-energy benefits, making them attractive to building owners.

An Advanced Lighting Control (ALC) incentive program must be crafted to maximize energy reduction. A well-designed program can produce results up to three times the typical prescriptive lighting project. The ALC incentive program combines best practices in lighting design with real-time energy measurement and verification protocols to produce ultra-efficient, smart grid-enabled buildings through energy efficient capable demand response technology.

What does an ALC Program Incentivize?

  • Best Practice Lighting Design, which requires the use of lighting calculations to determine the optimum placement of energy efficient luminaries. This approach reduces energy through design by eliminating unnecessary fixtures while maximizing occupant comfort using the least amount of energy.
  • Digitally addressable lighting and networked controls. This strategy ‘future-proofs’ buildings while giving operators the ability to create multiple control strategies, adjust operating schedules and rezone space without wiring.
  • Capturing data in real time and exporting it for verification. This strategy supports ALC’s evaluation protocol, which captures and reports the deepest possible energy savings per project.
  • Going beyond code to prolong energy savings. This strategy helps offset the long sales cycle for lighting controls that may cross program years. By going beyond code, energy savings will continue past installation.
  • Supports products that can tie multiple building systems into one platform. Here, the lighting control system acts as the ‘stepping stone’ to the ‘Internet of Things’.

How to know your utility is ready for an ALC program?

How do you know if your utility is ready for an Advanced Lighting Controls (ALC) program? The first step is to understand your lighting market. If you are seeing your customers adopt LED technology, then your market is ready for a ALC program. Networked lighting controls are the second wave of the LED revolution and the starting point for smart buildings.

The Bottom Line

While some implementers prefer out of the box solutions that rely on un-networked technology, DNV GL crafts incentives to each client’s market using the industry’s best practices. We understand that change is hard, especially in times of uncertainty. Yet, it is this very uncertainty that must be addressed.  Now is the time to diversify your energy portfolio and   Deeper energy savings are only a click away! For my next blog we will explore the effect of how utilities craft their ALC incentive on market adoption of these systems.

Post Script: DNV GL and Advanced Lighting & Controls

DNV GL has successfully designed and implemented Advanced Lighting Control projects on behalf of our utility clients for four years. Our team has significant project experience in both retrofitting and new construction of lighting projects. We work through the project life-cycle to identify, justify and evaluate energy saving measures and provide post-installation engineering review to verify savings.

Our team is available to work directly with directly with large institutions to assist them with Advanced Lighting & Control projects. For more information, please contact Wesley Whited. Wesley Whited is a Senior Consultant for Advanced Lighting & Controls at DNV GL. Mr. Whited has seven years’ experience in the commercial lighting market ranging from project management to sales. Mr. Whited is a graduate of West Virginia University (WVU) and holds a MBA from Capital University in Columbus, OH.

1 Comments Add your comment
Paul Knauber says:

Can you provide some additional detail on the types of controls, the costs, and rebates for an ALC system? Also, can you provide some insight on the types of customers for whom this approach has been most successful? If you have a presentation, I would very much like to see that.

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