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British Airways gets 60% energy cut thanks to LED high bays

01 August 2013

LED Eco Lights has delivered massive savings in energy and CO2 costs by replacing high bay lighting with an installation of Goodlight retrofit LED luminaires for IAG Cargo within the company’s Ascentis handling centre at Heathrow Airport

IAG Cargo, the single business created following the merger of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo, is the seventh largest international freight carrier in the world, serving more than 350 destinations across 80 countries. At the heart of this global operation is the company’s 83,000m² Ascentis handling centre at Heathrow Airport which is acknowledged as one of the most advanced freight processing facilities in the world.

As part of an ongoing process of improving the energy performance of its buildings, IAG Cargo considered the replacement of existing sodium high bay light fittings with LED alternatives. The company’s overriding objective was to achieve maximum energy reduction whilst retaining like-for-like lighting levels.

The first stage in meeting this objective involved extensive and lengthy in situ trials of various LED lighting products. Consequently, following its spectacular success in meeting the required criteria, LED Eco Lights’ high bay lighting from the company’s proven Goodlight™ retrofit LED range was specified.

Since installation in late 2011, the continuing ‘real life’ results are phenomenal. Electricity usage and CO2 emissions have been reduced by 60% thereby saving British Airways over 1.7 million kWh and 900 tonnes of CO2 each year. In energy costs, this equates to an annual saving of well over £200,000 with a payback period of less than three years from this installation alone. Furthermore, over the lifetime of the Goodlight™ luminaires, in excess of 5,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions will be eradicated.

The entire project was managed and delivered internally by the company's incumbent energy management company, Emcor Facilities Services, which evaluated the value of the project from all aspects. Whilst the installation has been measured in terms of energy savings, there is also evidence of a drastic reduction in the cost of ongoing lamp maintenance, which is estimated to be at least 75%, as the Goodlight™ luminaires do not require any annual maintenance.

Commenting on the importance of delivering energy savings across the business, British Airway's Energy Infrastructure Manager, Richard Hemmings, states, "This large-scale adoption of LED technology is another positive step in delivering our objectives of continual improvement of the energy performance of our buildings across the entire portfolio. Our investments into upgrading our infrastructure, delivering cost and carbon reduction programmes and adopting the latest in new energy saving technologies is something we are very focused on."

The additional benefits included implementing a technology that is not only extremely visible, but which also has a positive impact on its users. The previous light source relied upon a traditional gas discharge-based output, characterised by an orange glow. By contrast, the new Goodlight™ LED units emit a clean white light that is proving extremely popular with staff as the overall illumination and colour rendering properties of the light are significantly improved.

This aspect of the success of the new Goodlight installation is acknowledged by Emcor’s Energy Manager, Hassan Atiq. He says, “Reception from the staff in the building is extremely positive; they think it’s a much better working environment. Many of the staff previously didn’t pay much attention to energy savings, however this massive change in their working environment is a constant reminder of what their company is striving to achieve and, in turn, they are now coming forward with energy saving ideas themselves. So, as a knock-on effect, the energy savings don’t stop with the project, they are influencing all the staff to be more aware.”

Surrey-based LED Eco Lights manufactures Goodlight, the UK’s leading range of retrofit LED lighting, widely used in many diverse applications including factories, warehouses, car parks, retail outlets, hospitals, universities, leisure centres and civic offices. The Goodlight™ brand is supported by an industry-leading five year guarantee and is used by some of the UK’s largest organisations in both the private and public sector.

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