This article is brought to you in partnership with PLM
How many EU bureaucrats does it take to change a light bulb is a question with an almost infinite number of answers. “One Enlightened one”, or “Any number, but they’ll always screw it up” seem to be Google’s favourite answers, but the true answer comes somewhere in between.
Thanks to incoming EU regulation we will all soon find ourselves changing our lighting. How many? Which ones? How much this will cost? And who exactly will be changing them, however, remains shrouded in darkness. At the moment, all we really know for sure is that regulation is coming and that certain kinds of lamps will be banned by 2017. When that happens their production will be discontinued and they will be gradually phased out, forcing you to buy new lamps and fittings.
The aim of the reforms is to make us all more energy efficient, with the wider goal of giving us at least a flicker of hope that we will meet various green energy targets. The 27-member block has, in principle, backed plans to source 20% of its energy from renewables by 2020, although the majority of members are nowhere near that.
Now the uncertainty and the thought of yet more regulation, and EU regulation at that, flooding in has the potential to get blood pressures rising – but if that is your knee jerk reaction to the news, you’re looking at this all wrong.
The uncertainty is certainly unwelcome, but the regulation itself may not be. Efficiency, after all, is about making us all lose less, and save more.
Energy lighting experts Planned Lighting Maintenance (PLM) have therefore decided to look on the bright side and have figured out how to turn this gaping hole of inbound Brussels bureaucracy to your advantage.
“Some of the EU information just isn’t clear,” says Geoff Coffin, Sales and Marketing Director at PLM. “There is no consistency in the lamps or order of banning.”
“But even with all the grey areas and lack of clarification, it’s possible to plan ahead. It is clear you will have to change soon, so it is foolish to wait till the last minute. If you act now you can phase the change, do it gradually. This means that you can plan your costs better and won’t be hit all at once.”
The change now, and don’t regret your inaction later approach has already been undertaken by various big businesses.
PLM designed and delivered a solution for national fashion retailer Fat Face has who saved enough to fund 85% of all its light repairs and maintenance for the next five years across its 200+ UK stores. They had recouped their investment in just 17 months and are looking to make savings worth £600,000 across their various stores by 2017.
With electricity costs expected to keep rising, that’s nothing to turn your nose up at.
“I definitely understand people’s hesitation,” says Coffin. “It is easy to put it off and say that you will do it closer to the time. Maybe the rules will be relaxed? Or maybe the technology will get even better and there will be a great new lamp that will be even cheaper and brighter?
“So you’re constantly thinking, when is the best time to get on the bus. But I think it is now.”
Coffin insists that changing your office or shop lights will allow you to get 80% of your relamp investment back in a year, stretching to up to three years if you’re changing the fitting too.
That means that as everyone starts scrambling to come in line with the new regulations at the 11th hour, you will be sitting there merrily, twiddling your thumbs, as you continue to reap the benefits of having adapted your business.
So if you’re still internally cursing all this lighting legislation, it really is high time you became enlightened.
Need more information? This whitepaper explains all about lighting legislation
You need to read:
SECURING BRITAIN’S FUTURE
Boris Johnson, Martha Lane Fox, Xavier Rolet, Doug Richard and more than 25 other London leaders share letters on how to safeguard our economy
Our free newsletter