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Friday, 09 May 2014 - 15:32
Energy-saving technologies cutting firms' fuel bills
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Electricity costs have doubled for businesses over the last decade, says energy saving body the Carbon Trust, pushing sustainability issues to the top of the agenda.

But these days "going green" is as much about business survival as reducing impact on the environment.

Yet surveys show many businesses still struggle to understand the technologies available and are wary about the upfront costs involved.

Technology of Business offers a guide to the most effective ways businesses can cut their energy bills and begin operating more sustainably.
LED lighting

Switching to LED - Light Emitting Diode - lighting is the quickest and simplest action any business can take to reduce energy usage, argues Myles McCarthy, director of implementation at the Carbon Trust.

A traditional 60 watt incandescent bulb would produce about 750 to 1,000 lumens - a measure of lighting power - but 95% of the energy used to create that light would typically be wasted in heat.

Modern LED lights are much more thermally efficient and can now produce between 50 and 100 lumens per watt (lm/W) in normal working conditions.



One US manufacturer, Cree, reckons it has produced a white light LED bulb that can produce 300 lm/W.

Mr McCarthy says payback on investment in LED is typically between one and three years. For example, one retail outlet client invested £74,000 in new lighting, resulting in a 74% lighting energy reduction and savings of around £33,000 per year, he says.

"This is why we've seen considerable investment in LED in recent years."
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