Throughout the U.S. and on the campus of Texas A&M University (TAMU), lighting retrofit programs to date have achieved tremendous savings through lamp and ballast replacements. In most cases, the existing T12 lamps and magnetic ballast are replaced with T8 lamps and electronic ballast. In addition, the incandescent exit signs are replaced with LED exit signs. Since lighting retrofits usually involve significant equipment replacement, they are often overcoming ten or more years of neglect and offer an opportunity to initiate new maintenance procedures that can reduce maintenance costs in the long term. The payback for lighting projects can vary based upon the hours of operation and energy costs. However, it can be expected that the overall energy consumption for lighting retrofit project should be reduced by at least 38%.
In 2003, TAMU began implementing a lighting retrofit project that included 42 buildings that encompassed over 4.1 million GSF of predominately E&G space. It was originally estimated that the overall project simple payback was 5.5 years based upon 2003 energy costs. Due to rising energy costs, the simple payback was revised to 2 years after the project was fully implemented in 2005. The consumption reduction targets for several of the buildings were recently reviewed and the original estimated reduction targets have been achieved. Currently, TAMU has a project underway for an additional $1 million which will include 32 buildings for a total of almost 2 million GSF.