Sustainability Stewardship Matters

July 27, 2023

Is there a death sentence on fluorescent lighting?

Multiple states, and some manufacturers, are setting dates for when you will no longer be able to purchase fluorescent lamps or ballasts for your facilities. States with approved bans on linear and compact fluorescent lamps are Maine, Vermont, California, Colorado, Hawaii, and Rhode Island - and there are currently lawmakers in seven other states moving forward similar legislation. In manufacturing, some suppliers are slowing down production of ballasts that support fluorescent lighting while others are halting production altogether. What does it mean for your facilities and institutions when you are unable to continue to maintain fluorescent lighting fixtures? Below are some recommendations that could assist you in getting ahead of this transition.

Take stock of fixtures that are still fluorescent and ask the following questions:

  • How are they controlled, on/off switches or a more complex control system?
  • If more complex, what control system is being used? Once confirmed, check with the manufacturer to determine their stance on maintaining fluorescent fixtures and supporting warranties on your installed products?

Consider an Investment Grade Lighting Audit - If your facility is large, or you have multiple buildings, an IGLA will identify your fluorescent fixtures and controls systems. It will give you a snapshot of your current energy consumption and allow you to evaluate the following:

  • Does it make economic sense to provide simple Type C retrofits (new driver and LED lamp installed in existing fixtures) or brand-new LED fixtures?
  • Will the existing controls support the proposed new solutions?
  • What type of payback can you expect based on reduced energy consumption?

Begin communicating the challenge internally.

  • Most organizations require funding requests and approvals to prepare for a project. Depending on your business structure, you may want to engage your sustainability group (for funding from improved energy efficiency), your facilities team (as they are generally charged with replacing ballasts and lamps in a lot of places), or both. 
  • Evaluating your energy payback and money to be saved from work by facilities personnel will help you to establish where the funding request should go.

Investigate local utility rebates and other energy programs available in your area. Governments at many levels offer incentives that can help you either reduce capital costs and/or finance your lighting projects?

Circadia Group serves as the owner’s representative to academic institutions and businesses as they pursue decarbonization. Through our program management service, we learn a lot about what is and is not working on the different programs we manage. We created this newsletter to share some of our experiences with others we know who are pursuing similar endeavors.

Circadia Group

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