Nelson City Council is taking advantage of one of its own free services to discover how to make big savings on lighting at the Elma Turner Library.
Simple changes adapting the existing light fittings to take a lower wattage T5 fluorescent tube are expected to save 22 tonnes of greenhouse gas and $8000 per year. Over the expected 15 year life of a light fitting that’s 330 tonnes of greenhouse gas and $120,000. The library is the ideal location to glean the best savings from the new fittings as it has a lot of lights and most are on for long periods.
Nelson City Council’s 2008 Climate Change action plan included the development of a Sustainable Business Advisor. David Francis started in that role last year and Council’s Property Manager took the opportunity to ask him to complete an assessment of the Elma Turner Library.
David Francis says, “The new tubes have lots of other benefits too, they flicker much less than older tubes and are very close to real daylight, offering a truer rendition of natural colours. The T5 tubes produce a more constant level of light for longer and contain less mercury so the amount of mercury being disposed of at the end of the life of the tube is reduced by three or four times.”
Councillor Pete Rainey, co portfolio holder Community Services says “These simple changes to the lighting will benefit library users and mean massive savings on the power bill and greenhouse gas emissions. I’m delighted Council has been able to make use of one the services we make available free of charge to the business community to achieve it. It makes not only economic but also environmental sense.”
Council is constantly looking for ways to make facilities more energy efficient and has had an Energy Strategy in place since 1999. The lighting in the libraries was one area that had been identified as needing improvement and the Stoke Library will be tackled next. The florescent tubes being removed from the Library will be reused in other Council buildings. Council also recycles all its used light tubes.
Businesses wishing to get a free consultation with Sustainable Business Adviser David Francis are invited to call 540 3221. All advice offered is independent, impartial and non-binding.