Energy efficient lighting

Lighting can be an area for large gains in energy efficiency. On investigation, some offices may find they can replace lighting technology with alternatives that use 82 per cent less electricity. Like any business project, the larger your enterprise the more there is to consider and lighting changes need to still ensure appropriate light levels for the tasks undertaken. Typically, an upgrade will involve identification of strategies and technologies and a business case for the upgrade. There are several tailored financing schemes can also help improve the investment returns on lighting. As many tenancies are over-lit, a lighting audit may also identify opportunities to reduce the number of light fittings or make better use of daylight.

Key elements

  • Overview energy efficient lighting

    Lighting upgrades are amongst the easiest projects to undertake and can offer very rapid returns on investment. In many instances, immediate savings can be gained by making minor adjustments - you may see even greater returns by engaging a lighting professional.


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  • Choosing the most efficient lights

    Selecting efficient lighting systems and fixtures is extremely important when seeking to reduce energy use. There are a number of tools and links to get the research right.


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  • Financing energy efficient lighting

    A range of financing schemes are available to assist with the capital costs, implementation, and installation of energy efficient lighting.


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  • Undertaking a lighting audit

    By undertaking a lighting audit, you can assess usage, fixture quantity and quality and illumination and wattage levels. CitySwitch toolkits can help non-technical staff start the audit process in-house.


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  • Daylighting, de-lamping and optimisation

    A number of strategies to improve lighting efficiency can be implemented alongside a technology upgrade.


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  • LED Lighting article

    It could be as easy as LED.

    Improvements in technology over the last couple of years make complete LED fitouts a cost-effective solution. This article provides useful information and resources for LED lighting upgrades.


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Related Resources

  • CitySwitch Energy Audit Toolkits

    This Energy Audit Toolkit set has been developed to assist non-technical or semi-technical energy managers in small to medium organisations identify actions to improve energy efficiency through the use of a simple but detailed audit checklist and develop plans for implementing energy efficiency actions.


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  • LED Lighting article

    It could be as easy as LED.

    Improvements in technology over the last couple of years make complete LED fitouts a cost-effective solution. This article provides useful information and resources for LED lighting upgrades.


    Read more
  • Energy efficiency certification scheme

    This certification scheme offered by the Energy Efficiency Council certifies professionals that can lead comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. Certification helps building owners and managers find professionals they can trust and provides a benchmark for energy efficiency professionals.


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  • Energy Hunter How To Guides and Course

    This kit was developed for small and medium sized businesses across the Hunter Region to identify, manage and improve their energy consumption. This region, traditionally dependent on carbon-intensive industry can become a showcase for clean energy technology and best practice energy efficiency.


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  • Calculite: an online calculator for lighting

    The calculite calculator helps businesses make an informed decision about energy efficient lighting for your site. It is an online tool to identify savings, providing upgrade options and generic technical specifications to take to suppliers.


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  • Webinar: cutting through the lighting technology jargon

    Working out where to begin with lighting upgrades can quickly become an overwhelming prospect from choosing products to funding and implementation. This free three-part lighting webinar series helps get the most out of your office lighting retrofit.


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  • Quality Scheme for Solid State Lighting (LED)

    A a quality scheme for Solid State Lighting (also known as LED). This is a voluntary industry scheme that provides confidence that a luminaire carrying the Scheme’s label matches certain performance claims made by the supplier. Products are listed in a database on the Australian Lighting Council's website.


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  • CBD Lighting Assessment Guidance

    A tenancy lighting assessment is an important component of a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) required under the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program. The guides and forms required are available here. 


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  • FluoroCycle

    Lamp recycling can help reduce the amount of mercury being sent to landfill. FluoroCycle is a voluntary product stewardship scheme that seeks to increase the national recycling rate of waste mercury-containing lamps.


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Case studies

  • Case Study: Psaros

    Case Study: Psaros
    Psaros is the first mid-tier property developer in Western Australia to operate a carbon neutral head office. The tenancy consumes less than 50 per cent of the energy used by a typical 2.5 star NABERS Energy-rated tenancy and due to their Carbon Neutral certification, they have off set a total of 221 tonnes of CO2-e over two years.



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  • Case study: Exergy

    Case study: Exergy
    Exergy are the first CitySwitch signatory to achieve a 6 Star NABERS rating without Green Power. Exergy  focussed on getting the simple things right, including laptops for staff and greater use of the cloud, zoned lighting and occupancy sensors, and energy monitoring that sends an alert when usage is higher than usual.


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  • Case Study: ACORPP

    Case Study: ACORPP
    ACORPP involved staff in selecting a new office and save over a thousand dollars a year in electricity by choosing a space with  natural light, providing laptops, and timers on boardroom air conditioning. ACORPP also chose furniture and fitout materials for certified low environmental impact, recycled content and recyclability.


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  • Case Study: WT Sustainability

    Case Study: WT Sustainability
    WTS took the opportunity, when fitting out their new office in North Sydney, to use in-house expertise and knowledge in integrating sustainable design and construction practice and initiatives. They successfully achieved their goal of a 6 Star NABERS Energy tenancy rating and now have an energy consumption level of 78 per cent less than a typical office.


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  • Case Study: Steensen Varming

    Case Study: Steensen Varming
    Steensen Varming used their office move to select a green building with strong credentials and enter into a green lease with their new landlord. Selecting a suitable building, plus an approach that maximized daylight, used zoned air-conditioning and recycled office furniture resulted in savings from day one. Staff were engaged in all stages of the move.


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  • Case study: AMP Capital

    Case study: AMP Capital

    AMP Capital's behaviour change competition saw staff across seven floors of their Sydney office battle it out to reduce energy and increase recycling. The 'Floor Wars' campaign resulted in energy savings of 15 per cent and supported the roll-out of lighting upgrades.




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  • Case Study: Goodman Group

    Case Study: Goodman Group
    Goodman Group have increased staff collaboration, job satisfaction and achieved energy savings of 46 per cent as a result of transitioning to an activity-based workplace. The CitySwitch award-winner cites an innovative staff change management program and technology upgrades as the key to the fitout's success.


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  • Case study: Climate Friendly

    Case study: Climate Friendly
    Climate Friendly are striving for energy efficiency excellence by applying the simple philosophy of 'measure, offset, reduce and review'. The consultancy is ensuring effective ongoing measurement using technology such as PowerMate and FutureSwich, and has successfully created a switch-off culture at their Sydney office to meet a target 6 star NABERS Energy rating.


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  • Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport

    Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport
    Long-time Signatory, the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure, has achieved a number of operational gains including a 33 per cent reduction in energy use. With the help of the CitySwitch RMIT student program, resource audits have provided useful insights into staff 'switch-off' behaviour, waste avoidance tactics and office equipment procurement to achieve ongoing environmental and economic savings.


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Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.