Before you make any building maintenance decisions, ask yourself these questions.
How can I enhance the energy efficiency of the building?
What is an economical upgrade that offers immediate value?
Of course, the answer is LED lighting. Especially if you are going from T8/T12 fluorescents. Eight-foot high output fluorescent tubes consume up to 110W each! They can easily be replaced by its LED equivalent, an 8 foot 42W lamp. That's less than half the wattage.
Most condos have board meetings once a month to discuss general issues and implement budgeting strategies for the property. Let's assume three maintenance upgrades were proposed during that meeting:
- Painting ($27,000)
- Paving the driveway ($43,000)
- Updating the balconies ($150,000)
Any of the proposals would be a great choice, but they don't make the building more energy-efficient. I understand that if the paint is cracking and peeling it makes sense to repaint. Or if there are craters in the driveway, it may be time to patch it up.
If you had an opportunity to make an investment that saves $22,000 in energy annually, wouldn't it make sense to do that project first? Why would you postpone that amount of potential savings?
$22,000 in annual energy savings per year is what we calculated for this property.
The evidence is clear, the LED energy savings will pay for the cost of painting in one year.
In two years, it could pay for the driveway.
In five years' time, the accumulated energy savings total $114,039! This is almost enough to cover the cost of fixing the balconies.
We've had clients take 1.5 years to finally make a decision to install LED lights. That's 1.5 years of potential savings lost. So please, make the best choice when deciding on maintenance upgrades. Lighting should take precedence because it generates immediate positive cash flow back into your pocket.