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Occupancy Controls Automate Savings


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The easiest, most sensible way to save energy automatically

The most obvious candidates for occupancy controls are areas that have unpredictable occupancy patterns, such as, meeting rooms, cafeterias, stairwells, restrooms and garages. For industrial customers, look at your warehouse and loading docks. Consider any area of low occupancy where it is safe to turn off some or all of the lights until they’re needed.

This type of a project is typically the easiest and most sensible energy savings technologies to implement. Installation is relatively clean and quick and the payback time can be minimal.

Installation is relatively clean and quick and the paybacks can be fast

Often, occupancy controls can reduce lighting usage by 30 to 70 per cent. Reductions will vary considerably depending on the size of the lighting load being controlled however, average paybacks of one year or less are typical.

There are also potentially lower maintenance costs due to the longer life of the lighting.

Programmed for flexibility


Think lighting, then think beyond

Occupancy controls can provide you with:


Different coverage patterns
User-adjustable time delay, sensitivity
Potential to have built-in light level sensors
Reduction of the amount of lighting without turning
all off


Also consider controllers for fans such as those used in garages and kitchen hoods. By using appropriate sensors, fans can be off 90 per cent of the time. That can translate into massive savings!


Incentives up to 50 per cent of costs for both audits and retrofits

If you manage commercial, municipal, institutional, retail or multi-residential buildings, this should be on your list for savings opportunities. Occupancy sensors qualify for two types of incentives: the AUDIT FUNDING program pays 50 per cent of an energy audit up to $25,000, while the RETROFIT PROGRAM pays up to 50 per cent of project costs. That can drive payback time down to 12 months or less.

AUDIT FUNDING incentives pay 50 per cent up to $25,000. Learn more >


RETROFIT PROGRAM incentives pau up to 50 per cent of project costs. Learn more >

A typical example

This table outlines an example of a typical area and the results of implementing occupancy controls for lighting. The system uses 24 fixtures with two T-8 lamps each and serves 1,500 sq. ft. Before RETROFIT PROGRAM incentives, this gives a simple payback of two years when energy and maintenance costs are considered. After the incentive, the payback period is 10 months.

Source: Nature Resources Canada

Join the RETROFIT PROGRAM leaders

   View more case studies >

At Savoy Plaza, occupancy sensors are helping save 40 to 90 per cent in lighting costs

View full case study >





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