Rising investment in renewables has pushed energy efficiency down the climate agenda, but, as Mark Hillsdon reports, there are major wins to be had in carbon emissions and cost savings, and cities are leading the way
“How many electricians does it take to change a light bulb?” runs the age-old joke.
“None,” is the new green answer, “because they had the foresight to use a LED bulb in the first place.”
Amid the global push for renewable power, energy efficiency has dropped down the sustainability agenda. Yet super-efficient LED lighting is a technology that needs to become standard in homes, offices and factories around the world to cut the carbon footprint of buildings, which are currently responsible for one-third of global energy demand, and one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
If energy efficiency best practices were implemented on a large scale, building energy demand could be reduced by one-third by 2050 globally
According to the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), if well-known energy efficiency best practices were implemented on a large scale, building energy demand could be reduced by one-third by 2050 globally, delivering 5.8 billion tons of CO2 emissions savings.
On the face of it, the figures around energy-efficient lighting seem reassuring. According to Harry Verhaar, head of global public and government affairs at Signify (formerly Phillips Lighting), the global market for incandescent light bulbs stood at 12 billion units, and lighting accounted for 19% of global...