Carbon Trust / Fishburn Hedges


Call for action on lighting efficiency as lights go on for Christmas

As Christmas lights are turned on up and down the country, the Carbon Trust has revealed that UK businesses and the public sector can make their own lighting more efficient and save up to £700m a year.

The Carbon Trust is today launching a new guide offering UK businesses guidance on how to choose the most energy efficient lighting without compromising on the quality of the light emitted.

The guidance shows that cost-effective measures such as lighting refurbishment and sensor-based controls can lead to annual cost savings of 20% across all organisations. This is the equivalent of 12 weeks worth of carbon emissions for Greater London. Installation of lighting controls can cut electricity use by 30-50% across industries including food and manufacturing, retail and typical office environments.

Lighting accounts for a fifth of electricity generated in the UK, and so even straightforward no or low-cost measures such as switching lights off and adjusting basic controls and settings, could still save up to £350m or a very significant 2.2mt of CO2 per year.

Richard Rugg, Director, Carbon Trust Programmes, said:

“As the Christmas lights go on and the days grow shorter, I’m urging businesses to think about the huge savings they could make by boosting the efficiency of their lighting systems.

“From simple reminders to turn the lights off, to installing the latest in lighting technology, there’s £700m and 4.4million tonnes in CO2 emissions to be saved by UK businesses making its lighting more efficient. The guide demonstrates how businesses can dramatically reduce both their carbon output and their bottom line. During this dark time of the year the advice the guide offers couldn’t be more relevant and implementing these simple measures will result in reduced costs across your business.”

Home retailer WJ Aldiss achieved annual cost savings of £20,000 by replacing lighting in both its stores and its distribution centre. The existing T8 fluorescent light fittings were replaced with T5 high frequency fittings, while other fixtures were converted through the introduction of low voltage downlights. The changes have subsequently cut WJ Aldiss’s CO2 emissions by 181 tonnes a year.

The Lighting overview guide is part of the Carbon Trust’s Expert in Energy series. The Carbon Trust is also running a free webinar on how to significantly reduce running costs and improve the lighting in your building on 14th December at 12pm – download the guides and sign up to secure your webinar place at

Below are some top tips from the guide:

• Install effective lighting controls. They are the key to ensuring that the right light is provided in the right place at the right time. It does not matter how efficient a luminaire might be – if it is not controlled it will waste energy and money, and lead to unnecessary CO2 emissions.

• Don’t rule out a more thorough refurbishment. It may appear difficult to replace existing wiring arrangements but the benefits of making a deeper refurbishment often outweigh the cost and inconvenience.

• Think about luminaires, not just lamps. Lamps are housed in fixtures called luminaires. Make sure they are designed to avoid glare on computer screens and consider illuminating the walls and ceilings so that the user’s whole visual field is considered and not just their desk.

• Maintain luminaires regularly. This includes cleaning, especially the reflectors and panel diffusers, and ensures the lighting performs as it was designed.

Notes to editors:
For further information:

For more information and to speak to a Carbon Trust spokesperson, please contact the Carbon Trust press office:
Tel no: 0207 544 3100
Email: [email protected]

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies. By stimulating low carbon action we contribute to key UK goals of lower carbon emissions, the development of low carbon businesses, increased energy security and associated jobs.

We help to cut carbon emissions now by
• Providing specialist advice and finance to help organisations cut carbon
• Setting standards for carbon reduction

We reduce potential future carbon emissions by
• Opening markets for low carbon technologies
• Leading industry collaborations to commercialise technologies
• Investing in early stage low carbon companies