€120 billion could be saved on electricity worldwide

Philips is calling upon leaders of world businesses, municipal authorities and other owners and operators of buildings to seize the opportunity to cut back on energy consumption by simply switching to energy-efficient lighting.

Coinciding with the publication of Transforming the market: energy efficiency in buildings - the final report by the four-year Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB) research project - Philips is outlining how switching to new, energy-saving lighting technologies will benefit institutional building users. As a result of new energy use modelling, the report reveals that energy consumption in buildings could be cut by 60% by 2050.

“A significant proportion of that reduction could be achieved even sooner by the adoption of energy-saving lighting,” said Philips executive Kaj den Daas. “If all the lighting in the world were switched to energy efficient solutions, €120 billion could be saved on electricity, as well as 630 million tonnes of CO2. That is the equivalent output of 600 power plants or 1800 million oil barrels in a year.”

Lighting accounts roughly for 19% of world’s electricity use, and some three-quarters of all lighting is based on old, energy-inefficient solutions. Switching readily-available modern energy-efficient lighting solutions could save an average of 40% electricity.

“This not only represents a quick win, but a ‘triple win’ in the effort to cut electricity consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said den Daas. “End users and building owners can lower their costs and benefit from better quality lighting; the environment can benefit from lower energy usage and lower carbon emissions; thirdly, an accelerated switch to energy efficient lighting would increase competitiveness within our economies, and stimulate employment in renovation and infrastructure projects on buildings and cities involved.

According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), one of the main sponsors of the EEB report, along with Philips, buildings use more energy than any other sector and as such are a major contributor to climate change.

“Unless there is immediate action,” says Bjorn Stigson, president of the WBCSD, “thousands of new buildings will be built without any concern for energy efficiency, and millions of existing, inefficient buildings using more energy than necessary will still be standing in 2050. Acting now means reducing their energy consumption and making real progress in controlling climate change.”