In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Faith Technologies, a Menasha, Wis.-headquartered electrical and specialty systems contractor, wanted to show its clients, vendors, partners, and the community that the company is committed to energy savings as well as to educating people about how they can benefit financially while also protecting the environment. The ideal solution seemed to be developing a tool that would allow users to understand how easy modifications to their buildings could impact the bottom line.

After some brainstorming, Faith Technologies decided to create an electrical savings widget that is housed on its website and can be used by anyone who visits. By inputting current building usage data, the widget will determine lighting energy savings in manufacturing, warehouse, and office environments.

To calculate savings, users enter their existing types of luminaires, the quantity in place, and the number of hours per day/number of days of the week the lights are running. The calculator then recommends replacement luminaires and determines their potential savings amount. The calculator can also determine how many watts the existing luminaires expend compared to the recommended luminaires as well as the annual savings in kilowatt-hours and dollars.

Keep in mind that energy-efficient lighting is more than just fixtures and bulbs. It also encompasses environmental variables, such as ambient temperatures, heat sources, day-lighting, and the building’s specific use. In most cases, retrofitting is more cost effective than full replacement.

In some cases, a lighting retrofit project can yield a 30% to 75% cost savings annually. The actual savings for a given facility is dependent upon many variables, but the hours of operation, age and type of the existing system have the biggest impact. Government or power provider incentives can also offset the cost of the project.

Faith Technologies’ electrical savings widget is a resource people can use to start the retrofit process to see how much money and energy can be saved just by changing a building’s lighting.