As well as the Energy Bill last week the government launched a consultation which runs until the end of January to consider ways to reduce demand for electricity in homes and businesses.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) believes that lighting plays a significant part in this overall energy reduction plan and is looking for ways to overcome what it believes to be the main barriers to adopting low-energy lighting solutions and controls.
In homes it seems that lack of awareness or understanding is the key issue to tackle. Incandescent bulbs use up to 5 times more energy than comparable LED bulbs so building awareness in this area will have a huge impact on the overall target savings to be made by 2030.
In businesses it is believed that the main barrier is the short term financial impact on investing in more efficient lighting i.e. return on investment coupled with the fact that the person using the building or premises is often not the same person who pays the bill therefore does not appreciate the financial impact.
So much is to be done and it is disappointing that these basic initiatives have not been tackled sooner. From my discussion with an industry editor last week it is clear that individuals and organisations are fed up with hearing about green this and green that and frankly have heard enough.
The problem is that, in the most part, what they have heard hasn’t helped this important cause and they are still unsure about how this relates to them as home owners or business leaders.
To be encouraged to invest in more efficient lighting people need practical information (such as buying guides, fitting instructions and case studies) supported by financials and saving projections that show how product X or Y will have a positive impact on their bills.
There is a bewildering array of low energy lighting products on the market, from poor quality compact fluorescents to a wide range of high and low quality LED, and this can lead to such confusion that actually very little is achieved.
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