Down the tubes

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

By Craig Hall

Beginning in 2012, four- and eight-foot long fluorescent tubes and fixtures will begin to become obsolete.

           It’s time to phase out your old four and eight foot long fluorescent (T12) tubes and fixtures,” says Matt Thesing of One Source Lighting, “In July of last year, suppliers no longer manufactured the eight foot long ballasts and the four foot long ballast will cease being manufactured in 2012. The good news is that Xcel has a program to help businesses with the cost of upgrading their current fixtures. The better news is that the new bulbs and ballasts will provide greater savings in the future as they are more efficient to use and the tubes will last longer as well.”

            Thesing says that Xcel Energy has extended its T12 rebate programs for the upgrading of ballasts and fixtures. Xcel has a rebate bonus of 50% for upgrades through March 31st and a 30% rebate bonus from April 1st through December 31st. Xcel says there will no longer be rebates for T12 tubes after 2012. One Source Lighting is an Xcel Energy Ally Partner and can help businesses understand the savings and programs available. One Source also offers a free commercial lighting energy audit.

            According to Thesing, the replacement of a four lamp T12 ballast with a four lamp T8 low power electronic ballast with F28T8 lamps reduces the energy used from 176 watts (or more) to only 85 watts. Replacing a 400 watt metal halide fixture with a four lamp T5 fixture reduces wattage use to 458 to 230 watts. Additionally, the new lamps will last longer and provide better quality lighting.

            “The financial incentive is very high, particularly for building owners who are looking for ways to cut costs and improve their bottom line,” says Thesing, “With new technology and more energy efficient lights you can attain up to a 50% reduction in electric lighting expense with a return on investment in only two to four years. And if you are considering putting in a solar array, upgrading your lighting first can help you save money because you may not need to install as large of a system, saving you on your upfront investment and in the long run as well.”

            “For a business or homeowner this is the easiest, quickest and most effective way to reduce energy consumption in their properties and, quite frankly, the country,” says Thesing, “And right now there are several ways to take advantage of savings through efficiency, tax deduction and Xcel rebates. And by utilizing your partnership with One Source Lighting, we can help you every step of the way.”