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DoE: Parking Lot Lighting Quickly Pays For Itself

Today’s lighting technology quickly pays for itself by cutting energy costs up to 70% and can potentially eliminate up to 90% of maintenance costs. Since 2012, the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign has supported participants in their efforts to upgrade and install energy-efficiency equipment and lighting controls in over 540 million square feet of parking facilities, which has led to a savings of 137 million kWh annually – that’s the equivalent of $14.79 million in electricity savings and deferring the energy usage of roughly 13,000 U.S. homes. High-efficiency lighting technology can last 2 to 5 times longer than legacy outdoor lighting and also provides a higher quality of light. In addition to saving money, LEEP participants have demonstrated the advantages and market readiness for high-efficiency lighting and controls systems in a wide spectrum of building sectors, both private and government owned.

According to the July 2017 U.S. DOE report, Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications, LED products have made the fastest inroads in outdoor applications, with parking garages reaching a penetration rate of 32.5% and parking lots reaching 26.2% in 2016. Additionally, 60 LEEP Campaign participants have been recognized for exemplary achievement in 20 different categories. Based on these achievements, it is clear that the market has embraced the advantages of these high-efficiency systems, and the LEEP Campaign goals have been met.

“We were impressed by the variety of approaches parking asset owners took to saving energy, saving money, and increasing the quality of lighting for their users,” said Paul Wessel of the U.S. Green Building Council. “They combined ever-improving high-performance lighting technology with controls in ways that were appropriate to their electric markets. There was no one-size fit all top-down solution. Everyone found their own means to performance – and the LEEP campaign had an opportunity to recognize that. The recognition was very meaningful to the recipients, who were often property managers and electricians whose work often goes unrecognized.”

Fortunately, the LEEP Campaign resources, including tools, case studies, and guidance materials designed to make it easy for facility owners and managers to adopt high-efficiency lighting and controls systems for parking facilities, will continue to be available.

The U.S. Department of Energy is continuing to support three campaign efforts similar to the LEEP Campaign: the Interior Lighting Campaign, the Advanced Rooftop Campaign, and the Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, with an increased emphasis on system approaches to efficiency, controls, and cyber security.

LEEP is a collaboration between the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), International Facility Management Association (IFMA), International Parking Institute and the Better Buildings Alliance, with technical support from the Department of Energy through Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Special thanks goes out to the USGBC, whose staff have chaired the campaign and managed the web site for the past two years.

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