A recent report by Carbon Brief has shown that overall UK electricity generation has fallen to the lowest level in 25 years. Studies have uncovered that a transition from traditional incandescent lighting to LED has had a significant impact on UK energy demand, yet has remained largely unrecognised.
Renewable energy has undoubtedly contributed to decarbonising the UK energy demand, with 33% of electricity in 2018 being derived from renewable sources, but studies reveal that improving product efficiency actually has greater capacity to cut CO2 emissions.
Our technical consultants are constantly looking at product efficiency to ensure new build compliance, and LED lighting is one method regularly recommended to keep energy use to a minimum. LED lighting not only has the improved efficiency through producing higher lumens per circuit watt but also gives off very little or no heat, unlike traditional lighting, helping to combat the overheating risk in modern buildings.
The software used to calculate the energy performance of buildings now accounts for improved LED lighting efficiency, though our consultants reinforce that the software still does not always reflect their full benefit with the standard efficiency figures used, so they advise a full lighting design is always the best way to prove the benefit and efficiency of LED lighting.
The report by Carbon Brief reinforces the importance of continually driving energy efficiency improvements, and highlights that this doesn’t apply to only our domestic building stock. There have also been major strides amongst firms too, with many supermarkets transitioning to low energy lighting and integrating natural lighting where possible, but as always, there is more than can be done. The Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) helps businesses to analyse their energy use and determine appropriate recommendations for improvements, many of which will be surrounding improving energy efficiency of heating, ventilation, and cooling systems, as well as lighting, and also educating occupants to think consciously about their energy use. However, there is also a responsibility for designers and manufacturers of such systems and products to continually strive towards improving their efficiency to further reduce CO2 emissions. As new, more efficient products emerge onto the market, and are backed by proven innovation, Elmhurst Energy Consultancy are able to model the products in the software used to model the energy performance of buildings, through various scenarios found in the built environment, to prove their effectiveness in combinations with other aspects of the building. We also encourage editorial pieces to be included in our quarterly ‘Energy Matters’ magazine, as this helps to increase awareness of new products emerging onto the market.
It was widely published that 2018 seemed to be the year the world woke up to the problems that increasing energy use and CO2 emissions could have on the built environment and beyond, so it is hoped 2019 will be the year where there is a big push to combat such problems through innovation on energy efficiency and reducing energy demand.
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Article published on 3rd January 2019