Despite all the technological advances in energy efficiency over the last few decades, as a nation, we are still consuming and wasting too much energy. Commercial and residential buildings account for almost 40 percent of the total primary energy (that’s all forms of energy) in the United States. Buildings alone consume 70 percent of the country’s electricity. As recently as 2007, lighting, heating, cooling, cooking, refrigeration, water heating and other building services produced 39 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in the US and 8 percent worldwide.
Quite a bit, as it turns out. Starting with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), the federal government has embarked on a policy designed to move our country toward increased lighting efficiency to lower the greenhouse gas emissions and high energy use that come with using inefficient incandescent lighting.
EISA set new performance levels for various common light bulbs to make them more efficient and to pave the way for new lighting technologies. While Congress defunded the enforcement of these EISA efficiency requirements in the 2012 federal budget, the lighting industry had already embraced the new policies and had, in large part, retooled production lines to make other bulbs, including LEDs, thanks to federal government initiatives.
In the meantime, the US Department of Energy has ramped up its efforts to distribute grants to municipalities and private ventures throughout the country to help replace wasteful incandescent bulbs with much more energy-efficient LEDs. One such grant in Wisconsin provided $500,000 for a casino project in conjunction with a private financing package that’s expected to save the casino almost a quarter million dollars annually.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is perhaps the most popular solid state lighting (SSL) technology today, making enormous gains in virtually every facet of the consumer, commercial, and industrial lighting markets. Their rugged design and outstanding performance characteristics make them ideal for a wide range of applications and uses, particularly in directional lighting situations in which the maximum amount of light is required to shine in a particular area.
CO_OP Natasha Kuegler returns to University of Newhaven. Natasha Kuegler is studying as a chemist/forensic scientist as an undergraduate. We wish her luck and will see her next summer.
Kuegler Associates has hired Craig Robertson, attending Middlesex Community College, as an intern.