If someone came up to you and said, “I’d like to give you an opportunity to invest in Apple Inc. today at the price of the initial Apple Computer IPO of 1980,” what would you do?
After you pinched yourself, you would begin the process of accumulating as much money as you could from everyone you knew in order to invest. You would borrow money, you would mortgage your home, you would even pull your retirement money to bet on the “sure thing.”
Today, your campus, your city, your infrastructure has a “sure thing” investment – it’s in the parking facilities and their lighting.
Owners, Property Managers, and Parking Operators around the globe are seeing 50% energy savings and greater when they replace older, high-maintenance, and high-energy-consuming lighting fixtures…guaranteed!
They also are seeing the new-technology lighting engines of LED and induction last at least six times longer than what is being used in many existing garages.
Today, the “sure thing” investment has been embraced by such higher-ed institutions as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Virtually every parking deck on campus, new and old, has been updated to include low-energy-consuming lighting in their parking garages. These savings are endorsed by Duke Energy and achieve a nice financial incentive from it as well.
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) has made low-energy lighting on its campus standard for parking garages. Everything is big in Texas! So are energy savings at Texas A&M in College Station, with all five of its campus parking garages being relit as part of a performance contract using low-energy lighting.
At Ohio State University, a 50-year, nearly $500 million concession agreement is now firmly in place. CampusParc, a joint venture between QIC of Australia and Hartford, CT-based LAZ Parking, has engaged ECO Parking Lights of Fishers, IN, to begin the relighting of 14 parking garages over the next year. An induction or LED solution will be used, depending on the facility’s spacing and construction characteristics.
Such savings aren’t restricted to universities; cities also benefit. Frederick, MD, for example, has been enjoying significant energy and maintenance savings since redoing all five city garages with induction product five years ago. With failure rates at less than 0.3%, it has served them very well. All costs have been recovered already, based on its realized energy savings since completion.
Nor are savings restricted to garages. Look to street lighting and parking lot lighting, as well as decorative “acorn” style lighting, as ways to improve the bottom line.
Key to a good project is picking a lighting partner that has solid references (and plenty of them). Conduct lighting demonstrations. (You wouldn’t buy a fleet of buses without taking one for a ride to see if it does what the manufacturer said it would do.)
Action Step to “Apple-like” results:
If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are sitting on a pot of gold. Take some action.
- We use electricity YES or NO
- We use lighting (no more oil lanterns) YES or NO
- We have more motorized vehicles than horses and buggies YES or NO
- We use lighting to illuminate our parking facilities or roadways YES or NO
- We have not updated our lighting in five years or more YES or NO
- We want to save money YES or NO
- We like “Green” project that make “cents” YES or NO
While the above “qualifying questions” will always be answered “yes”, they are meant to drive home a point. Everyone who is reading or will read this magazine is a candidate to save money and make “Apple-like” returns.
Chances are your utility provider will give you “free money” to change lighting fixtures. The national average is about $100 per fixture for induction or LED fixtures to buy less energy from the utility provider.
While the “pay you to buy less” concept doesn’t make sense in Economics 101 or at any business college, it does make sense to the utility providers. Compared with the cost of building additional power plants, it’s more cost effective for them to incentivize the consumer to reduce the burden on the power plants and national grid. Take advantage of this.
Good lighting is a safety issue as well. Changing yellow high-pressure-sodium lighting to camera-friendly LED or induction lighting will not only yield energy and maintenance savings, but also significantly improve security.
If you can reduce your energy consumption by 50% or more, greatly increase the likelihood that the lamps will be illuminated when they are needed (at night), get your utility provider to help pay for the project, and make money – what are you waiting for?
Contact Jeff Pinyot, Co-Founder of ECO Lighting Solutions and President of ECO Parking Lights, at firstname.lastname@example.org