Energy Efficiency Seminar Series Part 1: "Lighting for Offices and Homes" - Sept. 15th, 2008
On Monday, September 15, the Business Council on Climate Change and PG&E co-presented a seminar on energy-efficient lighting for offices and homes. The seminar, led by the SF Department of the Environment’s Alena Gilchrest and PG&E’s Ryan Stroop, was hosted by PG&E’s Pacific Energy Center, a state-of-the-art facility featuring lighting simulations and demonstrations. Stroop educated attendees about the qualification, quantification, and diversity of light through a series of interactive demonstrations and answered questions about PG&E policy and energy-efficiency incentives. Stroop explained that the performance standard PG&E uses is based, not on efficiency, but on the wattage installed and the power demand on the energy grid: different light sources require different wattage. Efficacy of light sources also matters (efficacy is defined as the amount of light you get per unit of power--therefore, lights with higher efficacy values are better). Stroop explained that incandescent lights have relatively low efficacy, but produce good color; halogen lights, which are modified incandescent lights, have slightly higher efficacy, but require a higher wattage allowance from the utility grid (halogens, Stroop noted, focus points of light and are best used only in specific environments, such as retail spaces or showrooms); fluorescent lights have a poor color spectrum, and require surges of energy to light up (adding phosphorous to fluorescent lights improves the color, but increases the cost). However, fluorescent lights last up to 10 times as long as incandescent lights. LED lights compete with halogens (they're also good at focusing light), and have better efficacy than halogen lights, but poorer color than halogens as well as poorer efficacy than fluorescent lights.
Alena Gilchrest provided a detailed explanation of industrial and residential lighting options and took questions about energy audits and ideas for decreasing energy consumption; members who want an energy audit should email Gilchrest to set up a visit. Over twenty BC3 members attended the presentation, representing professions as diverse as engineers, small business owners, and international energy policy consultants.