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Retrofit Lighting for Savings: Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions - Tustin

Retrofitting existing buildings is where the real energy savings are for most companies.

Find green business solutions
With the cost of electricity constantly rising, energy conservation opportunities become ever more attractive for ROI and profitability. Green building grabs all the headlines, but retrofitting existing buildings is where the real savings are for most companies.


"More than 90 percent of U.S. businesses still rely on incandescent lights from hardware suppliers as their primary lamp provider," William Tauber, CEO of Progressive Lighting & Energy said. "Nearly 85 percent of businesses use outdated lamps and ballasts, due to lack of education and knowledge about the enormous savings afforded by energy-efficient lighting designs and the availability of affordable alternatives. With energy efficient lighting design the energy savings go straight to the bottom line to keep California companies competitive in today's world."

Tauber - Progressive Lighting
William Tauber founded Tustin's Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions in 2004.

Trends in Lighting Efficiency

Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions paints energy efficiency with a broad brush. From lighting to exit signs to variable speed motors...

"Today's technology is compact flourescents -- but the next five years will see a switch to LEDs. And LEDs are available today, they are just too expensive for most applications.

However, LEDs provide positive ROI for 24/7 applications such as exit signs. They burn for 100-200 kilowatt hours vs. today's traditional 2-3 kilowatt hour solutions. The quick payback comes from reduced maintenance, reduced fire violations and reduced electric power costs. Aggressive rebates are available from Southern California Edison. LED exit signs have a 3-4 month payback!

Variable speed motors are a second trend to take advantage of. They are part of Progressive's complete energy efficiency solution. Progressive partners with GE's Ecomagination program to look at the entire envelope of the building -- not just lighting. This survey can identify the applications most likely to provide a fast payback with instant energy savings. Most companies can upgrade their energy use with payback under two years -- sometimes 8-9 months.

Motors included in HVAC systems benefit from variable speed drives. EPACT 2005 (Energy Program Act of 2005) provides federal rebates and the California Public Utilities Commission provides rebates through local utility companies.

REDUCE Fixed Operating Costs

A full-service energy solutions company assists their clients in design to mazimize ROI through qualifying for rebates and helps their clients fill out the paperwork to access the rebates.

"Corporate America has to take on the responbiility of being energy efficient," says Tauber. "Solar panels on homes are not making a significant difference. Giving corporations federal tax deductions could make a greater impact. With up to $1.80 sq ft maximums for a broad variety of projects, companies can afford to go green. These greening projects include lighting; HVAC and other chillers and variable speed drives. The savings are very flexible."

"Most paybacks are way under a year!"

Tauber founded Tustin's Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions in 2004, to design and install retofitted energy efficient lighting that can help a company not only save on electricity costs, but make the company eligible to receive energy rebates and lighting rebates from the utilities. And those rebates can add up.

"Everything we do is 100% Energy Star. That's the only way power companies will provide a rebate. And with rebates paying for 25 - 5-% of a project, it pays to go Energy Star. Facility directors are responsible for the building, the budget for energy consumption, maintenance and improved lighting levels ... and they appreciate the ongoing savings that Energy Star ratings on fixtures and appliances deliver."

Rebates provide "free money"! And you can use these rebate checks for additional green projects. The momentum can provide significant bottom line and green impact when a company retrofits its offices and production facilities.

Randy J. Parole, president, is a Certified Lighting Management Consultant (CLMC), a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) and an active member of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA).

Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions is a total solution energy efficient lighting design and retrofit contractor. Tauber founded the company to help manufacturers, plant owners & production driven companies who are seeking innovative ways to become more energy efficient. Progressive is an Energy Star Partner, and The Orange County Register named Progressive one of Orange County's clean tech companies.

Progressive positions itself to be a “green” lighting provider. Through its energy-efficient lighting design, the company reduces energy consumption among California businesses by retrofitting existing commercial and industrial lighting. "New construction is mandated to install skylights and other standards under Title 24 in California. EPACT is designed to upgrade existing fixtures and retrofitted building energy sysems. New requirements are more stringent than upfits."

NOTE to Architects

"Architects still aren't looking for efficiency. They are still specifying HID lamps (400 watt lamps) in factories, etc. This old technology consumes a lot of energy. We provide consulting for new construction, usually through architects who want to provide long life energy savings."

Tauber's "Top Three Issues" in Energy

Understanding the true savings

Tauber's number one concern: "Companies are still looking at the bottom line and not at the contribution they should be making to the country. They don't look deeply enough to see the bottom line common sense created by savings that justify initial costs -- they don't look at energy savings, rebates by utility companies (25-50% offset), and federal tax deductions.

  • A project starts at $75,000.
  • Gets $25,000 from California utility rebates.
  • Gets $25,000 federal tax deduction.
"That leaves $25,000 project cost for the company. Most paybacks are under 12 months. And in business a 5-year payback is significant! Multiply that $25,000 savings over 5 years and you have a 5x value. How can you beat that?"


Click here to see a sample


Click here for a Product Sheet for LED lights.

Knowing what you contribute to the environment

Companies contribute carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide (So2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). Air emissions reduction is a big benefit of reducing energy consumption. That's where "green" comes from. You reduce coal and fossil fuels with every kilowatt hour you save.

Look to the future

LED is the next phase in lighting. It will become the predominant means of lighting -- beyond flourescents. Within 5 years corporate America will be looking at LEDs. All traffic lights are now being converted. The breakthrough is that LEDs can now THROW light. All the major manufacturers are looking at LEDs for the future (TCP, Phillips, Sylvania). LEDs are expensive today, but prices will come down and then LEDs will flourish. Customers that install dimming devices and daylight-harvesting, energy-saving bulbs in office buildings and warehouses can save up to 60 percent or more on their annual lighting energy costs.

These energy-efficient businesses also report increased worker productivity and satisfaction from enhanced lighting levels.

Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions helps customers comply with energy codes, earn valuable rebates from their local electric utility providers and qualify for federal tax deductions.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, Progressive Lighting has helped customers save 13,424,640 kilowatt-hours (kWh) at 3.2 megawatts of demand, thus preventing 29,534,207 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), 214,794 pounds of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 926,300 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx) from being emitted into California’s ecosystem.

Annual cash savings of $75,000 with an 18 month payback

Businesspeople don't always think of energy savings in terms of how much it would require in retail sales to make the same profit in actual after cost-dollars. How about "savings equivalent to $20 million increase in gross sales"? Larry's Markets upgraded four of their retail stores to achieve those "profit" figures.

Ontario, CA-based California Hardware Company is a wholesale-distributor of hardware and building material products, serving the supply needs of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards in three Western states, Hawaii, Mexico and other Pacific markets. This distributor committed itself to greening its business operations that still relied on nearly 100-year-old lighting technology, which contributed to energy waste and cost inefficiencies.

"We designed an energy-efficient lighting system for California Hardware by reducing its lighting load and lighting operating time. California Hardware not only earns energy cost savings but its employees appreciate the improved lighting quality as well. The entire company is taking pride in doing their part to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions," explains Tauber.

The office and warehouse of 14,000sf were retrofitted. Their outdated four-lamp T12 fixtures were updated with two T8 lamps and motion sensors. This simple step resulted in a 63-percent reduction in lighting energy, from 70,536 kWh to only 26,203 kWh." reports Joseph Wildman, President of California Hardware (

How do you figure your own energy savings and rebate potential? Start with the easy Excel spreadsheet provided by Progressive: DOWNLOAD SPREADSHEET This Excel spreadsheet not only calculates potential energy savings. it estimates the potential energy saving rebates from your local Utility Provider.

Case studies using the Simple Energy Estimator

“The retrofit reduced the lighting energy consumption alone by 49% and yielded an annual savings of over $91,000 for lighting and reduced HVAC energy costs by an additional $30,400. They [SBC/AT&T Tower] also saved an extra $24,600 in light bulbs; this resulted in a total savings of over $147,800. For saving all of this energy, the DWP [Los Angeles Department of Water and Power] will be rewarding the team with a rebate check of approximately $105,240.” Steve Lockley, LBA Realty

Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions has partnered with General Electric's Ecomagination program to provide the most efficient equipment and service available.

  • Nearly seventy percent of installed cooling systems suffer from inadequate airflow and inefficient motors. Improper airflow can result in equipment failure, high-energy bills and poor comfort. At the minimum, airflow across indoor coils should be checked and adjusted if necessary.
  • Improper refrigerant charging can lower efficiency by up to 20%. Make sure you install a heating and cooling product that is sized correctly.
  • Oversized equipment will increase your costs and reduce comfort. INSTALL Variable Speed Drive Motors.

Variable speed drive motors can provide savings over 50% & extend motor life.

Variable Speed Drives (also called Variable Frequency Drives (VSDs), allow you to control and modulate the speed of motors. By slowing the motors down, based on actual load requirements, energy consumption is reduced – extends motor life while reducing vibration and noise.

Progressive Lightig & Energy Solutions is a registered vendor for Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric, Los Angeles Department Of Water & Power, Anaheim Public Utilities and Pacific Gas and Electric, qualifying you to receive the maximum cash rebates for energy efficient lighting design.

Progressive Lighting & Energy Solutions Inc.
1562 Parkway Loop, Suite B
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: 1-714-542-5490
Fax: 1-714-258-8233

Corporate website

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| energy conservation |


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