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Lighting Reference Guide – Introduction

1 Introduction

This is a practical guide, designed to provide information on lighting technology that will help to improve energy efficiency opportunities through a designed approach by understanding components and technologies that are commercially available.

It is strongly recommended that individuals or companies undertaking comprehensive energy efficiency projects secure the services of a professional energy efficiency specialist qualified in lighting design, to maximize the benefits andreturn on investment by considering the internal rate of return and related benefits of a ‘quality’ design.

2 Energy Savings

Increasing energy costs have become a significant concern and are expected to continue to increase in the foreseeable future. Businesses, institutions and consumers will be searching for more efficient products and solutions. Business applications for more efficient products are available and even greater opportunities exist in the largely untapped residential market. Lighting is recognized as a major area for economic energy savings.

Programs are in place to influence market and consumer choices towards more energy efficient products. For example, ecoENERGY Retrofits and ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses along with the use of the ENERGY STAR® initiative are some of the NRCan programs to promote energy efficient lighting products.

There are also national efforts to mandate and in some cases regulate energy efficiency and appear in various forms such as codes and standards and building guidelines to limit energy use within a building such as ASHRAEIES 90.1, DOE Standard for Federal Buildings, Equipment regulations – US National Appliance Energy Conservation Act Amendment of 1988 and Energy Policy Act of 1992, etc.

Achieving lighting energy savings is considered one of the fundamental energy efficiency measures with numerous opportunities and supporting benefits. Choices include:

  • replacing incandescent with fluorescent or HID lamp types;
  • redesigning older fluorescent lamp configurations to meet present applications, such as in industrial plants with upgraded fixtures or better technology. The HID example was suggested in the case study.

Lighting projects, executed properly and comprehensively can be easily justified for a number of reasons including:

  • energy savings, often a 25% internal rate of return or better;
  • emission reductions, direct correlation between energy and emission reduction;
  • maintenance cost savings from replacing inefficient systems;
  • increasing light levels for tenant comfort or improved safety considerations;
  • improved CRI to enhance comfort.

3 Emission Reduction Credits

Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol on February 16, 2005. This will lead to the economic value of emmission reductions.

Reducing energy use can be directly tied to emission reductions and calculated from the energy saved either on site or off site by the type of generation. The quantification of the emissions has been successfully used to create ‘Emission Reduction Credits’ (ERCs) or in some cases, ‘offset allowances’. These are usually measured in either sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) or gases e.g., Equivalent Carbon Dioxide (CO2e). The credits or allowances can be created when a company takes an initiative to improve efficiency and reduce emissions to offset greenhouse gases.

Credits or allowances will be allocated through numerous methods. The most common are process modifications, energy efficiency, fuel switching, new equipment, etc. Lighting becomes a major opportunity because the technology is considered ‘proven’ and can be easily replicated.

Energy savings are usually calculated in kilowatt–hours, (kWh) and converted to Emission Reduction Credits or allowances, based on the method by which the energy was generated.

Industry pilots, such as the Pilot Emission Reduction Trading or “ PERT” as well as Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Trading or “GERT” established the viability and suggested rules for registering and trading emission credits. Information is available from Environment Canada’s website:

Ratification of Kyoto is expected to accelerate the commercial value of emission reduction credits with eventual trading of emission credits or approved allowances. The federal government is in the process of defining the rules for the creation of greenhouse gas allowances within Canada.

Provincially there are specific initiatives underway for SOx and NOx reduction. For example, in Ontario offsets can be created and made available through a provincial registry. The allowances can be created from energy improvements, especially lighting improvements.

A good source of information in this dynamic area is from Environment Canada’s Envirozine online:

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