Lighting consumes a large portion of the energy used today. These systems have evolved over the years from incandescent to mercury vapor, fluorescent, high pressure sodium, metal halide, back to fluorescent and now light emitting diode (LED). We’re even illuminating building interiors with sunlight!
The first artificial lighting systems were developed solely for convenience and without attention to the power consumption involved. As energy and maintenance costs climbed, building owners began to demand more efficient and longer-lasting lighting systems.
Then came the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005. The International Energy Conservation Code® (IECC), ASHRAE® 90.1 and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) dictate energy usage and control of lighting systems. Inefficient lighting systems are being phased out, and the 2012 IECC boasts a 30 percent increase in energy savings since 2006.
New construction and upgraded lighting and control systems are being scrutinized more closely than ever and upgrading your lighting system continues to be an effective way to reduce energy consumption and cut costs. In addition to cost savings, EPAct has a provision called the 179D Federal Energy Tax Deduction that gives property owners a tax deduction for construction or renovation that meets certain energy usage performance criteria as long as the construction or renovation was performed between December 31, 2005 and January 1, 2013.
If you want to know more about 179D, there are many good articles online that could explain the criteria in more detail or you could give Schemmer a call.