To most outsiders, the world of energy efficiency probably appears static with slow, incremental changes. A furnace rebate here, light bulb swap-out there, maybe an updated building energy code every few years. But it should come as no surprise to industry insiders that this isn’t the case at all. An explosion of new technology across every part of our economy is rapidly changing our energy savings goals and the ways we identify and capture those savings.
Did you know that for every 10 Chicagoans, there is a hard-working street light brightening their path? In fact, the largest city in the Midwest has a network of more than 300,000 street lights that collectively form a nightlight visible from space. Until now, less than 2% of these lights have been converted to LED, the new standard in efficient, effective outdoor lighting, but that’s about to change.
At any moment there are thousands upon thousands of lights on all across America that are lighting rooms that no one is in. These unattended lights are wasting countless kilowatts of energy and a ton of money for the owners. But there is a simple solution that is becoming more and more common: the occupancy sensor. Currently, automatic lighting shutoffs of some kind are required in commercial buildings that are greater than 5,000 square feet, but there are a lot of smaller spaces, residences and public buildings that can benefit from the use of occupancy sensors as well.