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Measure: Install occupancy sensors to control interior lighting

Building Size: 5,000 gsf
Climate Zone: Hot - Humid

Measure: Install occupancy sensors to control interior lighting

Building Size: 5,000 gsf
Climate Zone: Hot - Humid
Install occupancy sensors to control interior lighting
Measure Simple Payback (years) Approximate Capital Cost ($) Annual Energy Savings (kBtu/sf) Annual Energy Savings (kBtu/yr) Annual Cost Savings ($/sf) Annual Cost Savings ($/yr)
Install occupancy sensors to control interior lighting 8-9 $1,900 1.3 6,400 $0.04 $220

Description:

Since lighting is typically required only when people are present, fixed lighting operating schedules may use more energy than necessary in zones with intermittent occupancy. Installing occupancy sensors in applicable zones will automatically match the lighting operation with occupancy. This helps minimize lighting run time and saves energy when compared with fixed operating schedules

Special Considerations

  • Occupancy sensors work best in locations where there will be a minimal amount of false triggering, and where the lighting fixtures can respond (turn on) quickly
  • The most common occupancy sensor types are ultrasonic (motion detection) and passive infrared (heat detection). In general, ultrasonic sensors are more suited for larger areas, and passive infrared sensors are more suited for smaller areas, within a 15-foot range.
  • Occupancy sensors are most cost-effective when they serve spaces that are intermittently occupied, such as open offices, closed offices, conference rooms, restrooms, stairwells, and break rooms.

Estimates for this measure come from the Department of Energy's Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide.