Shining a Light on Office Savings

Physician's Money Digest, July 2007, Volume 14, Issue 7

A dollar saved is a dollar earned. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), upgrading the lighting in your office can save 25% to 30% on your energy costs. For example, a 7300- sq-ft physician’s office invested $4000 to upgrade its lighting, saving $1900 a year, and a 5500-sq-ft office invested $3500, saving $1600 per year. DOE recommends replacing T12 fluorescent light tubes with high-efficiency T8s, magnetic ballasts (ie, units that power the tubes) with electronic ones, oldfashioned incandescent lights with compact- fluorescents (CFLs), and light bulbs in exit signs with LEDs (light emitting diodes). Also, put motion sensors in examining rooms and labs to save energy when not in use, and upgrade outdoor lighting, like porch lights and flood lights, with fluorescents. Check with your local utility for possible rebates and lists of qualified installers, or do it yourself if you are handy. Also, consult with your tax advisor regarding tax deductions for energy upgrades. In addition to saving money and energy, new lights will provide better color rendition and will not flicker or hum, and your patients and staff will appreciate the fact that you have provided better lighting. For more information, visit www.eere.energy.gov/build ings/info/components/lighting.