Seeing The Light

News, Energy Conservation

Jan 29, 2014  1

As a result of a series of energy audits that we did at our Yukon Energy facilities in 2012, we have haven taken significant steps to increase the energy efficiency of our buildings.

Over the last several months we have focussed on replacing our old lighting with new, much more efficient lighting. This work not only cut back on the electricity consumption in our facilities; it also allowed us to get a better understanding of what’s involved with carrying out lighting retrofits in commercial and industrial buildings. Yukon Energy and Yukon Electrical Company Limited plan to launch a large lighting program in Yukon very soon as part of our Electricity Conservation Plan (pending approval from our regulator the Yukon Utilities Board) and the more experience we have, the better our program delivery will be.

In terms of our own lighting, we replaced the outdoor lights on our main administration building, our electricians’ offices, and around our Whitehorse storage yard with LEDs. LEDs produce a much higher quality light than the old high pressure sodium and metal halide lights we removed, making it much easier to see at night. They’re also very effective in ice fog. LEDs come on instantly in the cold, they become more efficient the colder it gets, and they last as long as 20 years. The difference in energy usage between the old lights and the LEDs is significant. For instance some of the 400 watt yard lights were replaced with 150 watt LEDs. And as a bonus, those electricity savings coincide with our large system peaks that we see around the breakfast and dinner hours during the dark winter months.

We have also done some indoor lighting retrofits in our two Whitehorse hydro plants, our Whitehorse storage warehouse and the Dawson diesel plant.  For the storage warehouse and the Dawson diesel plant we replaced the older style T12 fluorescent tubes with newer, more efficient T8 fluorescent lights. These new T8s have a much better lighting quality compared to the older T12s and
reduce the wattage of each tube from 40W to 32W. Considering our warehouse had 46 of these lights, the savings really add up!

The two Whitehorse hydro plants needed lights specially designed to provide enough light on the ground from high up in the ceiling. We replaced 250 watt mercury vapour lights and high pressure sodium lights with 162 watt T5 fluorescent tubes. T5s are very bright, making them ideal for high ceilings. They also have better quality light that does not dim significantly over their lifetime. The older lights we removed became darker and more yellow as they aged, meaning they needed to be replaced more often.

Our staff have commented on how much better the light quality is with these recent changes, so it seems to be a win for everyone.

If you have questions about our lighting retrofits, please email us at and we can arrange to meet with you or at least chat over the phone.

1 comment


by Green Energy Audits

Thanks for the great share! The reliability and availability of modern energy sources cause people to tend to assume that it will always be accessible. And as for the case of non-renewable energy sources, most people do not know or maybe even refuse to accept that it will eventually run out.