Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman has asked industry leaders to become full participants in a national effort to make U.S. buildings more energy efficient, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), Rosslyn, Va., recently announced. In an open letter to the industry, Bodman observed that current tax deductions “provide financial incentives up to $0.60 per square foot for reducing new and existing building lighting energy use by 25% to 50%.” Bodman also said he was pleased to support the efforts set forth by NEMA and its members to significantly alter the energy footprint related to lighting the 70 billion square feet of existing buildings and new construction.

In response to Bodman's previous challenge to NEMA to establish a national building energy-efficiency campaign, NEMA recently unveiled its “enLIGHTen AMERICA” initiative, a program that aims to promote the advantages of lighting system renovation. According to NEMA, building owners and operators can achieve a 50% return on investment, reduced operating expenses, improved productivity, and increased asset value. Some building owners could save as much as $60,000 per year on electric bills.

To assist building owners and operators in establishing a lighting renovation project, NEMA has created a Web site with information and savings-calculation tools: www.nemasavesenergy.org. A copy of the “enLIGHTen AMERICA” brochure and Secretary Bodman's letter are also available at the site.