Too many of the UK’s commercial properties are currently lit by low-quality, energy-inefficient, costly lighting. And, when you consider that lighting makes up 22.6% of total electricity consumption for the average business (and 43% in the Warehouse sector), surely its time we had a rethink on commercial lighting? We believe there are two compelling reasons, in terms of both an opportunity and a threat, for businesses to improve their lighting now.
First, the carrot. Kingspan Insulated Panels recently conducted a study on the potential cost savings that better lighting systems could generate for UK businesses. The study showed that the adoption of improved lighting systems alone could result in a potential annual electricity cost saving for businesses of £3.7bn, with the average business lighting electricity cost falling from £25,583 to just £3,837.
So the opportunity to building owners and occupiers is enormous. Just by improving the way their properties are lit, they can benefit from drastically reduced electricity bills. That is not to mention the other associated benefits in terms of increased productivity and wellbeing of the building occupants, higher asset values, and lower carbon emissions.
That is why we launched Kingspan ZerO Energy Lighting, a bespoke solution that achieves the optimum balance of natural and artificial light in large buildings. It combines intelligent LED lighting with smart controls, and high-quality polycarbonate rooflight products to deliver a typical lighting electricity cost saving of 85%. We complete the solution with the addition of Kingspan Energy Rooftop Solar PV to deliver the remaining 15% cost saving, and ultimately, ZerO Energy Lighting. The combined solution, which brings together these technologies for the first time, has been shown to pay for itself within just 30 months – well within the return on investment threshold required for most businesses.
But, in terms of motivating change, there’s a stick too. From 2018 it will be mandatory for all buildings with an F or G EPC rating to be upgraded to a minimum of E. In fact, landlords will not be able to agree new tenancy agreements until this improvement is made. The ZerO Energy Lighting solution alone will improve a typical G grade building to a D grade, thereby protecting rental yields for property owners.
The business case for improved lighting is unarguable. Through the launch of Kingspan ZerO Energy Lighting, we are helping building owners and occupiers to create better, brighter and more cost-effective buildings.