A redesign of lighting systems in office or public buildings helps to save electricity and improve lighting quality, as the office building of the Austrian company Bartenbach on the photos shows. However, lighting systems are rarely upgraded: For example, in Germany, retrofits can only be found in 3 % of the existing building stock and 75 % of lighting systems are out of date, as they are older than 25 years. To support planners and investors in their decision on what would be the most apt lighting retrofit, the researchers of Task 50 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Advanced Lighting Solutions for Retrofitting Buildings, have launched a website called www.lightingretrofitadviser.com and an app for Android and iOS devices. Both provide stakeholders with information about successful case studies of lighting retrofits in buildings, a database of technologies as well as tools, for example, to give direct onsite support for decision making, whether it is sensible to retrofit a lighting system. A webinar on 21 March explained all the services and features of the new website and app. A recording of it is available online.
LED technology has greatly changed the face of the lighting market: In just a few years, lighting systems have become twice as efficient and half as expensive. These changes have resulted in a large but often untapped cost- and energy-saving potential in commercial buildings. The research in Task 50 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme, Advanced Lighting Solutions for Retrofitting Buildings, has shown that the lighting industry is increasingly exploring opportunities for the use of contracting instead of leasing solutions to convince customers of retrofits. According to Marc Fontoynont, Professor at the Department of Energy Performance at Aalborg University, Denmark, and subtask leader of Market and Policies, there is a growing number of specialised companies which offer contracting models for lighting solutions, such as Austrian manufacturer Zumtobel has done with its contracting plan Now! (see chart). All in all, these contracting solutions are less complex than the ones for heat.
Slovakia is the first country from Eastern Europe to join the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Since its admission, the small nation of only 5.5 million people has been represented by Artur Bobovnický (photo) from the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA). Bobovnický, who had previously held the job of Commercial Director at Slovakian SEVT, an office supplies business, took on the position of Director of Innovation and International Cooperation at SIEA in June 2014. Shortly thereafter, he was made aware of the great potential of the IEA‘s Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs) and successfully convinced the Slovakian government to sponsor membership.