LED Lighting: ESG and Cost Benefits for Commercial Real Estate

LED lighting has revolutionized the way spaces are lit, and within the context of commercial real estate, the benefits have many landlords opting for LED retrofits at their properties.  

In this article, we discuss how LED retrofits can support ESG objectives, as well as provide examples of the cost benefits achieved at two Colonnade BridgePort managed properties. 

ESG Benefits of LED Lighting

Environmental benefits (compared to traditional lighting options):

  • Energy efficiency: Reduced energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and an improved environmental footprint.
  • Longer lifespan: Less frequent replacements and reduced waste generation.
  • Reduced resource use: Require fewer raw materials and resources for production, reducing the environmental impact associated with manufacturing, packaging, and transportation.

Social benefits (compared to traditional lighting options):

  • Improved occupant comfort: Provide better light quality, contributing to enhanced occupant comfort, well-being, and productivity.
  • Health and safety: LED lights produce less heat and do not contain hazardous materials like mercury (CFL bulbs), reducing the risk of accidents or health issues.
  • Enhanced corporate reputation: Sustainable initiatives improve a landlord’s reputation as a responsible and forward-thinking owner; a quality that is attractive to investors and potential tenants.

Governance benefits:  

  • Regulatory compliance: Installing LED lights can help landlords comply with increasingly stringent energy efficiency and sustainability regulations, such as building codes and energy performance standards. 
  • Access to incentives: Many governments and utilities offer financial incentives for energy-efficient upgrades, which can help landlords offset the costs of these improvements. 
  • ESG reporting: The benefits associated with LED lighting can contribute to a property’s ESG performance, an important factor for investors.  

Cost Benefits of LED Retrofits

Colonnade BridgePort works diligently with its clients to pursue various sustainability initiatives including LEED and BOMA Best certifications, as well as energy saving initiatives, like LED lighting retrofits. We align these initiatives with our client’s overall asset strategies and look for opportunities to source available financial incentives to offset the capital costs associated with the initiative. In doing so, we promote sustainable business practices, making positive impacts on the communities in which we live, work and operate, and create long-term value for our clients and tenants.

The following examples demonstrate the long-term cost savings being realized at two of our retail properties as a result of their LED retrofit projects.

Mapleridge Plaza – Peterborough, Ontario 

The project: Complete replacement of exterior lighting including lamp poles, canopy lighting, exterior wall sconces, security flood lights and pylon signage.  Project was completed in 2021.

  • Cost of project: $65,157.62
  • 2020 (full year consumption on old fixtures) hydro cost: $19,347
  • 2022 (full year of consumption with new lights) hydro cost: $9,222 
  • Cost savings/year: $10,125 
  • Total cost recovery: 6.5 years 

Richmond Village Market Place – Richmond, Ontario

The project: Replacement of lamp heads on parking lot poles. Project was completed in 2021.

  • Cost of project: $18,512.18
  • 2020 (full year consumption on old fixtures) hydro cost: $6,535
  • 2022 (full year of consumption with new lights) hydro cost: $2,695
  • Cost savings/year: $3,480
  • Total cost recovery: 2.5 years 
In summary, LED light retrofits offer several benefits that can help landlords achieve their ESG objectives by improving the environmental performance of their property, enhancing the well-being of occupants, and demonstrating responsible governance practices. Retrofits also pay off monetarily, significantly reducing annual energy costs, providing short- to mid-term payback on initial investment.  Contact your property manager if you are interested in learning more about LED retrofits, or other ESG initiatives.