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High efficiency stadium lighting set to boom

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

LED lighting is poised to take over very high-output stadium and arena lighting, accounting for 70% of sports lighting in 2019 and boasting a growth rate of 44% by 2023.

The study from ResearchandMarkets predicts that the stadium lighting market will to grow by almost $200 million by 2023, to reach $622.2 million.’s CEO Dara Greaney added: “While the 44 percent is strong dollar growth, the lower price points of each fixture could equal over 65 percent increase in unit volume.”

The driving factor in the adoption is the cost per lumen. Lumen measures light, where the traditional measure of watt is just power used. That cost per lumen improvement is driven by more efficient LEDs and cheaper luminaries.

LEDs in large outdoor fixtures have gone from 80 lumens to watt average in 2013 to now 130 lumens to watt average in 2018. The cost of that watt in high-output fixtures is going down, now at $1.36/watt of street pricing in 2018.

Even with the big energy savings, the upfront cost was the barrier to entry. Now with the high efficiency, dropping costs and versatility, it’s no surprise that LED lights have taken over the world of stadium and arena lighting.

LED lights hit the professional sporting market a few years ago and their stronghold on this market continues to increase. The NFL was introduced to LED lighting back in 2015, while Major League Baseball began adopting LED lighting the same year.

“The San Diego Padres’ Petco Park was one of the first stadiums to make the switch to LED lights back in 2016,” according to LEDs Magazine. “MLB requires an extremely bright playing field with the infield minimum at 250 footcandles and 200 footcandles for the outfield.”

Compare this to the average parking lot which would be around 10-20 footcandles. Even bright retail lighting indoors might go up to 80-100 footcandles for places like department stores or automotive showrooms, still less than half as bright as an MLB baseball infield.

LED stadium lighting trend keeps growing with sporting organisations like FIFA and the English Premier League beginning to adopt LED lighting for many of their events and stadiums. While these major sporting organisations may be the driving force for LED stadium lighting, their use is far more widespread.

For the local community, college and high schools, the shift is even more pronounced. The common sports and stadium lighting currently found in local schools and fields is a 1500 watt Metal Halide. now offers an LED replacement 500-watt Stadium Pro light. That light produces about 64,000 lumens at a 30-degree beam angle. Independently certified by UL and DLC for performance. The savings of about 1050 watts on the light and the ballast can save 70 percent on energy, plus benefits like instant-on and no maintenance.’s Greaney continued: “Low maintenance and long life are big for districts with limited staffing resources and tight budgets.” For these districts, the 2019 LED penetration could exceed 80%.

The uses of LED stadium and sports lights go well beyond sports. Rodeos and roping arenas, high school and college sports venues, racetracks, concert arenas and more all take advantage of sports lighting. With the cost of LED lighting dropping while the efficiency keeps growing, LED lighting has seen supercharged growth. The last frontier is the extremely large scale lights and it now appears LEDs have conquered that market too.

In January 2019, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) published an updated ANSI C136.18 for the use of LED lights on roadways.

The same high-altitude application stadium lights can also be used in high-mast applications on road. Since both require precise, clean lighting with low glare, the adoption rate there should be quick, creating a whole additional market.

New build home energy bills ‘up £200’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The government’s 2015 decision to scrap the Zero Carbon Homes policy is costing occupants of new-build homes more than £200 per year on their energy bills.

That’s according to a report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), which says the £200 per year saving that would have resulted from the Zero Carbon Homes policy is nearly three times the amount sought by the Government’s recently-introduced energy price cap.

Since 2015, owners of new-build homes in England have collectively paid more than £120 million in additional energy costs – a figure that will rise to over £2 billion by 2020 as more and more new dwellings are occupied.

The Zero Carbon Homes policy was due to come into effect in 2016 after nine years of discussions with housebuilders and other stakeholders, but Treasury cancelled it six months before implementation.

A poll of MPs conducted last year for ECIU by YouGov showed that more than half (55%) support re-introduction of Zero Carbon Homes, with only 18% opposed.

Commenting, Dr Jonathan Marshall, ECIU Head of Analysis, said: “Successive governments have struggled to devise effective domestic energy efficiency policies, meaning carbon emissions from homes are rising, but Zero Carbon Homes could have made a real difference.

“As well as future-proofing new homes, the policy would have saved families money, reduced Britain’s vulnerability to energy supply shocks, and cut carbon emissions.

“Tackling new build homes is one of the easiest ways of improving the UK’s leaky housing stock, and reintroducing this policy could also deliver a boost to firms involved in insulation and low-carbon heating.”

Heating is responsible for around 40% of national energy consumption, and around 25% of emissions. Of this, homes are responsible for more than half (57%), with 80% of British homes currently heated by natural gas. Heating also represents the largest component of domestic energy bills and is therefore directly linked to fuel poverty concerns.

Energy management trends to watch in 2019

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Energy Management Association (EMA) has revealed its five industry trends to watch this year, which it says promises to be an interesting one considering the pace of technological progress, important policy changes and the continued uncertainty over Brexit.

Here are the top line trends (click here for the full article):

  1. Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR)

The final guidance for SECR will be published in January with the scheme coming into effect in April. Although the final guidance is still to be tweaked, it is really only setting out the obligations placed on organisations.

If you are a large company listed as such by meeting two of the following three criteria; 250 employees, £36 million turnover and an £18 million balance sheet you will need to comply. The public sector is not covered unless they own entities that undertake commercial activities and there is a no need to file a report if you use less than 40,000 kWh during the reporting period.

So here are the main actions your company will legally need to undertake:

  1. Collect and publish greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption which includes transport fuel, and energy efficiency actions taken.
  2. Present the data on emissions to be signed off by auditors.
  3. Compile an energy efficiency narrative for the Director’s Report, this will need to state all principal energy efficiency actions undertaken during the reporting period.
  4. Present to the Board for sign off, for an LLP this needs to be presented by a named member.
  5. Included in the company report or lodged as a separate report with Companies House.

2. Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Phase Two

We are now in Phase 2 of the ESOS compliance scheme so let’s recap some facts. The ESOS Regulations 2014 is a reiteration of the Article 8 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and mandate that large organisations in the UK undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years.

In broad terms, ESOS applies to any large undertaking that carries out a trade or a business (a Company), and any corporate group where at least one member of the UK group meets the ESOS criteria.

3. Electric Vehicles

Against the backdrop of improving technology and accelerating climate change, the UK Government has published its Road to Zero Strategy, which foresees that a third of the UK’s fleet on the road in 2030 will be electric. The government has also vowed to end sales of internal combustion vehicles in the UK by 2040.

This is an optimistic prediction considering 2030 is only eleven years away. Furthermore there is a problem with zero emissions at the tail pipe, as the energy must be provided by the grid and the resulting load will not be inconsiderable.

A privately owned EV can roughly double the electricity use of the average UK home. As a result, one third of the current UK fleet, or 10 million vehicles equates to the power needed for approximately up to 10 million new homes.

National Grid forecasts that EVs will create an additional 18GW of demand by 2050, which is one-third higher than today’s peak demand.

4. The Energy uncertainty of Brexit

With European energy interconnections forecasted to account for one-fifth of UK consumption by 2025, the implications of Brexit on energy prices will be important.

Given that energy suppliers purchase energy months or years ahead, the uncertainty will give rise to significant risk premiums on energy prices. The increasing risk will lead to higher consumer prices, a major problem for long-term business planning.

Additionally, regulatory uncertainty extends to the European Union’s carbon pricing, leaving the UK’s companies unclear on whether the same rules will apply post-Brexit.

5. Battery Storage

This is one area that could become really exciting in 2019 because your site could benefit from hosting batteries. Work is being undertaken to allow DNOs to source contracts for battery services in the area of Demand Side Response.

Simply put, the DNO could work out the cost of upgrading, reinforcing or building in resilience and instead of building new substations, they could meet their requirements by contracting out demand reduction services through contracts with independent aggregators.

To read the full article, click here:

Brexit is already leading to higher energy prices

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Consumers paid on average £75 more in the year after the EU referendum for gas and electricity, according to research by UCL, with the business sector also to be hit as wholesale prices fluctuate.

A hard Brexit could lead to a further average rise of £61 per year in the event of further devaluation of sterling to pound-euro parity.

The UCL researchers found that energy bills increased overall by £2 billion in 2017 due to the lower value of sterling relative to the euro and US dollar.

The average wholesale prices of electricity and gas rose by 18 per cent and 16 per cent respectively in the year after the referendum, translating into a £35 increase for electricity and £40 for gas.

Lead author Dr Giorgio Castagneto Gissey (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources), said: “We know that exchange rates fell after the EU referendum but we can now look at the effect this had on wholesale and consumer energy prices.

“The exchange rate depreciation plus the fact that energy prices are now much more volatile means consumers have been paying more and are facing even higher bills over the next several months.”

The wholesale gas price makes up 39 per cent of the price paid by consumers, so the 16 per cent increase resulted in a six per cent (£40) increase in retail prices. The variability of wholesale gas prices increased by 60 per cent in the year after the vote.

Co-author Professor Michael Grubb (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) said: “Forecasts always carry some uncertainty, but this research pinpoints historical fact: the referendum result, through its impact on exchange rates, has been the principal factor driving up UK household energy prices over the past two years.”

The Government passed a law in July giving Ofgem the power to set a price cap, and subsequently a cap said to save the average household £75 a year on standard tariffs has been proposed.

The predicted price rise of a further £61 resulting from a hard Brexit breaks down into £29 from electricity and £32 for gas. This corresponds to a predicted extra £1.5 billion added to consumers’ annual energy bill from the end of March 2019 to the end of March 2020.

The academics analysed the behaviour of the wholesale electricity price in the UK alongside the sterling to euro exchange rate between 2012 and 2017, finding that as the exchange rate fell dramatically after the EU referendum the electricity price increased over the subsequent year, directly reflecting the resulting higher cost of energy imports.

The prediction following a hard Brexit is based on an assumption of a further depreciation of sterling to sterling-euro parity, with a 12 per cent drop from the exchange rate of 1.14 on the 3 November 2018. The change in annual bills was calculated assuming everything else is held constant between 29 March 2019 and 29 March 2020.

The team behind the overall report used several data types; electricity generation and thermal efficiencies of fuel-intensive plants were used to calculate the shares at margin, with fuel and imbalance prices and volumes used to model electricity prices and derive pass-through rates.

For the overall report, the researchers aimed to understand the principal determinants of electricity wholesale prices in the UK and some major European markets. Those considered additionally were Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Norway from 2012 to 2017. The report found Great Britain to be among the most cost-reflective of a sample of European electricity wholesale markets.