Building Owners and Facility Managers need to be careful of sales companies offering LED upgrades for free. These ‘pop-up’ companies are cashing in on the Government’s incentives and offering substandard products that can’t last the distance. This can pose huge complications down the track when Building Owners are stuck with products that are failing and these pop-up companies are nowhere to be found. The cost to rectify the work without any government incentive can be very expensive. Tenants should not engage pop-up companies on their own accord. Any type of lighting upgrade should seek approval from both the Facility Manager and owner of the building itself. On the positive side, there is a huge potential to have lighting upgraded and/or solar added to industrial and commercial premises with long term benefits for the Building Owner with the VEET scheme. If you haven’t already, then it’s time to take advantage of the energy saver incentive.
“Remember – you can only claim once.”
What is the VEET scheme?
As many of you aware, the Victorian Government has introduced a VEET (Victorian Energy Efficiency Target) scheme promoted as the Energy Saver Incentive on 1st January 2009 under the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Act 2007, administered by the Essential Services Commission (ESC). The main purpose of the scheme is to reduce greenhouse gases and to make energy efficiency improvements more affordable.
Under the scheme, accredited businesses can offer savings on selected energy reducing products for residential, commercial and industrial premises. These incentives are very attractive for industrial storage and manufacturing facilities, generally providing a ROI of less than two years, on the upgrade of existing conventional discharged lighting fittings to LED and/or the installation of solar panels.
Prolux Electrical Contractors can provide sustainability audits to determine the long term benefits to your tenants, while the incentives are still strong.
It’s our understanding that these incentives will be around for three more years, after that they may not be renewed. Therefore, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of the benefits that are currently available. This being said, it’s important that you are aware of the unaccredited pop-up companies that are doing the rounds trying to push their poor quality, inferior products onto Building Owners and Managers, with the promise of unjustifiable savings. You know the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.
In order to classify for VEET approval, an LED fitting needs to emit a certain amount of lumens, along with achieving a particular lux level below. A lumen is specified as the total light output from a light source, regardless of the direction the light travels. Lux is defined as the level of brightness at a particular distance from the light source; one lux is equivalent to one lumen per square metre. A desired lux level can be achieved by tightening the beam angle (spread of light emitted from a luminaire), expressed in degrees. However, a building’s existing fittings are not taken into consideration for this evaluation and those fittings with a wide beam angle may be replaced with a narrow beam angle and are therefore not complying with Australian Standards.
A number of these pop-up companies are currently being investigated by the Essential Service Commission (ESC). Many are providing fittings with a 60 degree beam angle. By tightening the beam angle, companies have been able to achieve the adequate lux beneath the light, however the fittings aren’t providing a sufficient beam angle (spread of light), resulting in spots of darkness. Prolux ensures the fittings we use provide an adequate beam angle, which results in a more even light spread.
The beam angle of an LED light is initially determined by the ceiling height or the distance of an object from the light source, and the lux level that is required for a particular object or floor area. It is therefore important to remember that for given lumens output, actual lux levels at working or floor height will vary depending on the beam angle of the fitting used. A wide beam angle combined with a high ceiling will result in a lower level of overall light, as the majority of the light output would be absorbed by the surrounding areas. The opposite is true with a narrow beam angle combined with a low height ceiling, which would result in spotting (patches of darkness).
Prolux insist on obtaining an EM21 Test Report to prove that the running life of the fittings installed are guaranteed to sustain longevity. We will present the TM21 test reports (measuring lumen depreciation) for the fittings we provide.
Issues arising for Facility Managers and Building Owners include:
- Getting caught out – they become liable for an accident caused by insufficient lighting if the tenant changes the lighting without the building owner’s approval.
- Inferior fittings start to fail or stop working inside their warranty – these pop-up companies are nowhere to be found and building owners are stuck with repair costs.
- Factories and warehouses underlit – buildings are then non compliant with Australian Safety Standards.
- Cutting on costs and quality – fittings aren’t performing or lasting the distance of warranty claims.
- No warranty backing with pop-up companies – will they still be around when their products fail?
“When you try for a warranty claim, these pop-up companies are gone.”
Significantly reduce electricity costs for your tenants
If you have a tenant with high electricity usage, Prolux can undertake a sustainability audit for the tenant and identify huge savings for them long term. If they choose to proceed with the works at their cost, then the Building Owner can also benefit with the upgraded asset, which is more attractive if the property ever sold or went up for a lease renewal. A Prolux site assessment would identify the potential for significant cost savings with the implementation of LED products for a commercial and industrial lighting installation. Many industrial and commercial premises have extremely inefficient existing lighting, which continues to escalate their energy bills. The fittings Prolux install are of very high quality, they are proven to be better than 95% of other lights on the market.
Just how efficient are LEDs?
LED can consume around 80% less power than a standard halogen light of equivalent brightness. Let’s look at the table below to compare.
Comparison of Light Types
A Comparison of Light Types. Table from Lighting Matters – Lumens, Lux & Efficacy; 2017.
(Luminous efficacy is a measure of how well a light source produces visible light. It is the ratio of luminous flux to power, measured in lumens per watt in SI).
What benefits and savings can be expected with an LED upgrade?
Take a look at an example…
Let’s look at a warehouse currently using 24 x 450w Metal Halide/HPS High Bays running for eight hours per day, five days per week, 52 weeks per year, totalling 2,080 hours per annum. Current annual power usage is 22,464kw and electricity costs are at $6,290.
By taking advantage of the Government’s VEET scheme and upgrading the warehouse to 24 x 130w LED High Bays, this tenant would reduce their energy costs by 75.7%, reduce their annual power usage to 6,240kw, and save $4,543 per year on electricity costs (running comparable hours).
The initial outlay on installation would cost the tenant $8,712, however taking advantage of the rebate would provide a $2,760 discount, with the out-of-pocket expense being $5,952 (ex gst); with a payback of 1.1 years. Proposed overall lighting savings each year would equate to $5,443, with an estimated cumulative ten year savings of $54,427. The LED High Bay would offer this tenant significant cost savings, with a much lower wattage usage, less maintenance (estimated at an additional $900 per year) and a wider beam angle – brighter lighting throughout the warehouse. The LEDs would come with a six year warranty period and an approximate 60,000 life hours of operation. They would also provide a greater light/lux level to what is currently installed and would offer much greater efficiency, whilst significantly reducing electrical building maintenance requirements.
Our warranties are backed by a 3 tier system:
- Prolux Electrical Contractors
- AWM – Australia’s largest electrical wholesaler, with over 300 stores nationally
- Light Planet – Lighting manufacturer, with offices in three countries
Contact Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880 to arrange your building’s VEET scheme LED lighting site assessment and data review. Prolux will ensure you’ll have piece of mind with our accredited, 3 tier warranty.