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07/31/2012 05:22 PM     print story email story  

Ernst & Young Saves $1 Million Annually With LED Lighting Retrofit

SustainableBusiness.com News

The lights of New York's Times Square may be notorious energy hogs, but Ernst & Young is doing its part to help cut consumption.

The professional services company has replaced the lights at its 32-floor, 650,000 square-foot headquarters there entirely with LED technology along with controls and occupancy sensors to manage when they are off and on.

The retrofit, one of the largest LED lighting retrofits yet in New York City, will save $1 million annually for Ernst & Young, cutting lighting-related energy and maintenance costs in half.

A recent study the U.S. Department of Energy found that LEDs have a significantly lower environmental impact than incandescents, and a slight edge over compact fluorescents.

Roughly 25% of the energy used in commercial buildings comes from the lights, but Ernst & Young's retrofit cut the power consumption from lighting almost in half to 2.9 million kilowatt-hours (kWHs) in electricity from 6.2 million kWhs previously.

The retrofit will save about 2 million pounds per year in carbon dioxide emissions.

"Reducing the carbon footprint of our office space is part of our firm-wide strategy to reduce our environmental footprint as our business grows," says Leisha John, Ernst & Young Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability. "In fact, by the end of 2013, we plan to have a majority of our employees working in LEED and or Energy Star certified space. The completion of this lighting retrofit project in the New York office brings us one step closer to that goal, and will be part of that office’s Energy Star application."

The firm's goal is to have 50% of Ernst & Young employees working in LEED certified spaces by 2013.

Ernst & Young contracted with facilities manager JAS Consulting to coordinate technology providers Philips Lightolier Energy Service Group and One Lux Studio for the project. The project covered custom LED fixtures, lighting controls and installation.

Philips lighting technology was also used for the recent retrofit at the Empire State Building, which is transitioning to LEDs as the next step in its $550 million energy efficiency retrofit.

For more on the environmental footprint of LEDs:

Website: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/23867



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