Seeing the Light

June 30, 2017


It is high time that commercial buildings start to see the (LED) light. According to an HBS article, “A New Way to Think About Office Lighting,” office workers list wasted electricity, poor illumination and difficulty concentrating as their top three complaints. With today’s LEDs and digital control systems, there is no excuse for any of these inefficient nuisances–indoor environment can be vastly improved while “saving significant energy and money.”


Yet, retrofits in commercial buildings are still a new-ish industry with an estimated $63 billion in market value untapped. But times, they are a-changing with third-party providers increasingly offering lighting-as-a-service. As HBS points out, “third-party ownership models, which separate the ownership of an asset from the service it provides, have transformed other industries for the better” and are transforming lighting as well. Much like buying solar power not panels and trading negawatts for kilowatts, lighting can now be effectively sold as an outcome. Lumens, a measure of light intensity in a space, can now be monitored and measured remotely, which Rocky Mountain Institute calls “Lumens-as-a-Service” (LaaS). The big question for the industry: Will the LaaS model be a “game changer?”


Metrus has seen increased opportunity to add lighting upgrades to existing projects. In fact, in 2017 alone, Metrus has been lighting it up with close to 1,000,000 kWh per year of additional annual savings from new LED lighting upgrades added on to existing ESA projects with Kuakini Medical Center and our Fortune 50 customer. However, lighting upgrades have always been an important part of all of our ESA projects (dating back to 2010) as are heating, cooling and other efficiency-as-a-service offerings. Perhaps the real game changer is that customers and providers are finally ready to look at their buildings in a whole new light and incorporate all the benefits that efficiency-as-a-service can provide.


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