Potentia Management Group helps businesses come up with bright ideas — most often, how to save money while improving their lighting.
“What we do is review some of the incentive programs that are available to customers and then we do an analysis of their lighting and their building,” owner Anthony Vennero said.
The consulting firm just moved from Oriskany, where it opened almost two years ago, to Plaza 5 on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford.
Here are some lighting facts from Vennero:
• An updated lighting system can cut energy consumption by more than half, reduce maintenance and improve the quality of lighting.
• The right LED bulbs can last as long as 22 years in a business that’s open 45 hours a week.
• Fluorescent bulbs slowly dim as they age; retailers should change them every three to four years.
• Lights have colors and new bulbs can contrast with old bulbs; businesses should match the color of their bulbs to the mood they want to set.
• Incentive programs can, on average, offset about half of a lighting project. With energy savings, projects usually pay off within about two years.
• After replacing cooler bulbs in a grocery store, frozen food sales increased. “When packaging, which is designed to attract, is properly lit, it’s calling out to the customer,” Vennero said.
• If you can’t afford to upgrade all the lights in your business or your home, start with the lights that get the most use.
• Not all LED bulbs are the same. Bulbs that are well made, and not usually ultra cheap, will probably save more energy.
• Some LED bulbs use more wattage than indicated on their packaging. Go to the Energy Star website to check up on model numbers: www.energystar.gov.
• Use enough LED bulbs and air conditioning costs go down (more than the LEDs drive up wintertime heating costs).