ABA Energy Guide: Light Savings

American Bakers Association sheds light on energy savings

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Big savings from lighting choices, says ABA
Big savings from lighting choices, says ABA

Related tags Lighting

The American Bakers Association (ABA) has produced a guide to energy saving for industrial bakers that says costs can be significantly cut by making the right lighting choices.

The group’s 104-page Energy Star guide, made publicly available yesterday, was produced with the help of members from Bimbo Bakeries, AMF Bakery, Flowers Foods and others.

The guide details steps for commercial bakers to save money and cut energy in production plants.

One area where savings can be made is lighting. “Lighting contributes significantly to electrical energy consumption, and savings can be substantial,” ​said ABA.

Unoccupied areas

The guide said that ensuring lights were turned off unoccupied areas was one place to start.

ABA said this this can be achieved by raising staff awareness - reminding them to switch-off lights - or by using occupancy controls. It estimated that occupancy sensors could save 10% to 20% of a facility’s lighting energy use and a baker would see a payback within a year.

Ditch T-12 tubes

The Association recommended replacing long-florescent T-12 tubes, which still exist in many industrial plants, with T-8 or T-5 tubes. 

“T-12 tubes consume significant amounts of electricity, and also have poor efficacy, lamp life,” ​said ABA.

It gave the example of the Bakers Delight showcase bakery outside of Sydney, Australia, introduced a lighting system that included both high-efficiency T5 fluorescent lamps and 35W metal halide lamps which gave the same lighting levels as standard bakeries, but used 64% less energy.

Similarly, J&J Snack Foods recently switched from antiquated lighting at its plant in Bellmawr, New Jersey to long-life T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts, which helped it save $18,000 per year with just a 12-month payback period.

Standards and daylighting

ABA added that bakers should establish lighting level standards for each section of the plant. Car company Toyota sets different lighting standards in its warehouses, office buildings and quality check areas, which it claimed saved it 30% on lighting energy use.

The uses of natural light, known as daylighting, could also minimize the need for expensive artificial lights and reduce electrical lighting costs up to 70%, added ABA.

Daylighting technologies such as properly positioned and shaded windows light shelves and ducts can help bakers get the most from natural sunlight, said the guide.

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