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Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at the Building Owners and Managers Association annual international conference to announce the results of the Better Buildings Alliance's Interior Lighting Campaign (ILC). This year we recognized 13 organizations for their exemplary performance in energy-efficiency interior lighting practices. Together they achieved significant savings by upgrading almost 600,000 troffer lighting systems to high-efficiency systems, which saved $13.2 million in the past year. Troffers are those ubiquitous rectangular light fixtures that fit into dropped ceilings and typically hold fluorescent lights, or even LEDs.

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Images courtesy of BOMA.

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The ILC is a collaborative program designed to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities from high-efficiency interior lighting solutions. Since launch in 2015, ILC partners have upgraded 1.2 million lighting and controls systems for a combined savings of $18.5 million. This great work from ILC partners has dramatically exceeded our first national goal of installing, retrofitting, or replacing 100,000 troffers and even our second national goal to replace 1 million troffers.

Lighting accounts for up to 20% of commercial building energy use, and lighting system upgrades often represent some of the easiest, most cost-effective energy-saving opportunities available, while typically improving lighting quality and productivity. Building owners and managers can save up to an estimated 60% in energy costs by replacing less-efficient troffers with new ones, and as much as 80% by adding controls such as dimmers, timers, and occupancy sensors.

The following 13 participants were recognized this year by my BTO colleague Cindy Zhu and myself on behalf of the ILC for their achievements in lighting efficiency.

Army 88th Regional Support Command: This marks the second year in a row that the U.S. Army Reserves received two recognitions. The U.S. Army 88th Regional Support Command was recognized for highest percentage of annual savings for troffer lighting retrofits for a medium project and also for the highest percentage of annual savings for troffer lighting retrofits for a large project.

Baylor Scott and White Health: Baylor Scott and White Health, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, continued their energy savings efforts and is being recognized for Exemplary Healthcare Sector Site for saving 1.8 million kWh in a single project.

Biostar Lighting: Biostar Lighting, a national provider of energy efficiency solutions for commercial buildings based in Kansas City, Missouri, recent efforts at a toy manufacturer as well as an assisted living facility helped earn them an Outstanding Supporter recognition.

Cleveland Clinic: For a second year in a row, Cleveland Clinic continued significant energy efficiency upgrades. The Cleveland Clinic was recognized as the Highest Absolute Annual Savings for Troffer Lighting Retrofits in a Large Project, saving 4.8 million kWh within their project.

Columbia Association: The Columbia Association is a management organization based in Columbia, Maryland, had many recent lighting projects, achieving 72% and 64% energy savings compared to the original lighting. They were recognized for Highest Percentage of Annual Savings for Troffer Lighting Retrofits for a Small Project category as well as the Highest Percentage of Annual Savings for Troffer Lighting Retrofits for a Medium Project.

Divi Energy: DiVi Energy from Salt Lake City, Utah, was recognized for their work supporting different projects to achieve energy savings.

Grace Bible Church: Grace Bible Church in Bozeman, Montana, saved over 60% energy compared to the original installation, equal to over 6,000 kWh saved annually. They were recognized for the Highest Absolute Annual Savings for Troffer Lighting Retrofits in a Small Project.

The Hartford Insurance Group: Through a combination of new equipment and lighting controls, the Hartford Insurance Group was able to achieve more than 600,000 kWh in annual savings in one building and a total of more than 1.2 million across the campus located in their headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.

Life Time Fitness: Life Time Fitness is a nationwide fitness chain that has recently undergone significant energy and water efficiency upgrades. Life Time Fitness was recognized for they are being recognized for Exemplary Retail, Food Service, or Grocery Sector Site.

Target: This year, Target was recognized for multiple categories, including Highest Absolute Annual Savings for Troffer Lighting New Construction in a Large Project. Additionally, Target retrofitted an additional 360 stores, earning them a recognition for Largest Number of Facility Projects.  Finally, Target also received special recognition for the Largest Portfolio-wide Annual Absolute Energy Savings. To date, Target has retrofitted roughly 20% of their total portfolio and along the way, generating a 100 million kWh annual savings.

Tutera Real Estate: Tutera Real Estate out of Kansas City, Missouri, has completed many projects and is being recognized for two of them, saving 113,000 kWh in one building, and 63% of the energy at another building.

City of Spencer, Wisconsin: The City of Spencer, Wisconsin, retrofitted Village Hall for an astonishing 69% energy savings. They were recognized for the Highest Percentage of Annual Savings for Troffer Lighting Retrofits in a Medium Project.

Staples: As a result of equipment upgrades and use of lighting controls, Staples Corporate Headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, is saving over 1 million kWh annually.

My agency, the U.S. Department of Energy was also recognized in this year’s awards for Exemplary Federal Sector Site for saving over 2.2 million kWh per year at the Forrestal Building, our headquarters in Washington, D.C., improving the nation’s energy economy and saving money for taxpayers.

Congratulations once again to all ILC participants for their impressive efforts in energy saving.

One of four technology-focused campaigns led by the Department's Better Buildings Alliance, the ILC is a collaborative effort among the Building Owners and Managers Association International, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the International Facility Management Association, the U.S. General Services Administration, and DOE. For more information about the Interior Lighting Campaign please visit the website