As first reported by the New York Times recently, a new life cycle assessment of illuminants conducted by Osram, a German lighting company, provides support for the belief that LEDs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. In fact, over the entire life of the bulb, from manufacturing to recycling, incandescent bulbs use approximately five times more energy than compact fluorescents and LED lamps.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) conducted a post-occupancy study of 25 LEED commercial projects in Illinois and just published the first round of results from their research. The Regional Green Building Case Study Project is one of the first post-occupancy studies to measure energy performance, greenhouse gases emissions, water use, transportation effects, construction and occupancy costs, health benefits, and occupancy comfort on a regional scale. Although CNT found that some LEED projects perform better than others, they also determined that investing in energy efficiency pays off.
We all know there's money in energy efficiency, but sometimes, it's hard to justify the upfront costs to receive the benefits over time. When crunching the numbers, it helps to recall the Energy Pie Chart that Steven Chu posted to his Facebook recently — lighting accounts for 26% of energy use in commercial buildings! Which is why Holiday Inn will save ~$4.4 million annually as they swap out their neon and fluorescent signage for super efficient LED signage.