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Navigating DOE Higher Efficiency Regs

by Bobby Graham, Div-70L

The Challenge: DOE will enact the 2009 Efficiency Regulations in July 2012.

One challenge is to navigate the regulative changes. Another is to discover the right illumination to reduce life cycle cost, create a sustainability plan, and comply with regulation changes. As technology progresses retailers must be ready to react before directives cause financial and operational pressure.

Legislative Acts Affecting Lighting Users

2005 Energy Policy Act – Established minimum efficiency requirements, incentives, and research dollars for lamps, ballasts, fixtures, and LEDs.

2007 Energy Independence and Security Act – Established minimum efficiency requirements for halogen and incandescent lamps beginning January 1, 2012.

2009 Department of Energy Regulations – New efficiency standards will place lumens per watt (LPW) requirements on linear and U-shaped fluorescent lamps and halogenPAR lamps effective July 14, 2012.

Fundamental lamp innovations that led to change.

  •  Increased lumens per watt. 19%
  •  Increased color rendering index. 27%
  •  Increased rated life. 60%
  •  Increased mean lumens. 9%

Efficiency regulation facts: This regulation will require all manufacturers to eliminate products that do not meet efficiency regulations. For each product that is discontinued, there are equivalent-performance products available that met the new requirements.

Forecasting a sustainable solution to generate revenue is what all retailers are after.

Best Practice: Perform an energy management audit, portfolio wide, to realize an accurate foundation. With this data, making decisions to increase efficiency, reduce cost, and gain compliance becomes effortless.

Energy management audits uncover the current systems and energy costs – accurately documenting system specification and performance characteristics. The goal is to capture the data that will allow you to develop a sustainable road-map. Lack of foundational data is common, along with the technical expertise to properly evaluate retrofits or upgrades. Most make decisions regionally or by site from practice, advertisement, and sales – even incentives. Understanding the complete picture is the only way to gauge business decisions.

With an accurate foundation you can measure current technology against new innovations and regulations. As technology changes or regulations are proposed retails can quickly analyze payback, life cycle cost, and return on investment for all locations prior to implementation.

Results: Facility Solutions Group (FSG) employs energy management audits, hardware, and web-based software tools to illuminate energy consumption. 

Our goal during an Energy Management Audit is to:     

  •  Compile an Energy Systems Inventory.
  •  Compare business energy requirements to industry benchmarks.
  •  Create an Energy Management Road-map.
  •  Document and present a baseline Energy Management Strategy.

Understanding the systems inventory for one retailer lead to the discovery of 12,740 fixtures that are affected by the DOE regulation.  When we ran the analytics against LED fixtures the benefit is astonishing.

Verification of Efficiency and Savings Captured: Uncovering the foundational data is the only way to make sustainable changes.

Change is inevitable: All existing facilities that contain regulated lamp types will require lighting upgrades. Now is the time to take advantage of grants, incentives, and rebates to make conversion profitable.

Create Innovative Energy Solutions by Discovering the Facts: The key to innovative energy solutions is to attain return on investment, improvement in performance, and reduction in life cycle cost. Variables to Understand: Input watts, kWh, hours of operation, rated life, mean lumens, photometric, material and labor cost, and local codes and regulations.


Understand that this new rule promotes advance technology, lower wattage, and longer life. Evaluate your existing systems before these regulations take effect. Our expert lighting consultants are knowledgeable and equipped to help you understand current systems and propose innovative energy solutions to deliver long-term value.


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