While the legislation to phase out incandescent bulbs has grabbed headlines and opinions over the past few weeks, there are other lighting changes flying under the radar that will affect thousands of businesses across the country.
As part of the CLEAN Energy Act of 2007, most inefficient T12 fluorescent lighting will be phased out, starting July 2012. This could have a significant impact on businesses across the country. In fact, the National Lighting Bureau (NLB) estimates there are as many as 500 million T12s still in place.
What does all of this mean? Well, if your office or facility hasn’t had a lighting update in the past 15 or more years, chances are you’ve got T12 fluorescent bulbs (T12 bulbs 12/8ths of an inch in diameter). Unfortunately, maintaining an inefficient T12 fluorescent lighting system after the 2012 deadline will become difficult and expensive, as equipment and related services will be hard to find.
So if you still have T12 lamps, you will have to get them upgraded. The most common options are more efficient T8 or T5 lighting. You’ll also need to upgrade your ballast.
But there is good news here. Many utilities, including Xcel Energy, as well as state departments of energy, offer rebates, tax credits or funding for T12 lighting upgrades to help off-set the cost of your upgrade. By factoring in the cost savings from these rebates and reduced energy usage, most businesses will recoup the cost of upgrades in 1-3 years, and they’ll benefit from long-term savings from more efficient equipment.
If upgrading your T12 fluorescent lighting isn’t on your radar, it’s probably a good time to consider making an upgrade before the 2012 deadline.
If you’re not sure if you have T12 lighting, visit the National Lighting Bureau or Department of Energy websites. You also can contact your local utility to see what type of lighting rebate programs are available.
But be sure to act fast, as T12 lighting rebates and tax credits may not be around for long.
Article by xcelroom214, appearing courtesy Xcel Energy Blog.