We chose to go green because we understand that clever use of key resources can translate into big cost savings, particularly when it comes to energy consumption.

To prove it, we have introduced simple, but effective measures to minimize the effect our buildings have on the environment, including the after-hours shutting down of non-essential building networks like elevators and air-conditioning units and the implementation of recycling policies. Savannah East will be fully outfitted with Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting. Recent technological advancements make it a perfect choice for both environmental and task lighting. LEDs are much better than their incandescent equivalents on many fronts: they use less energy to function and therefore have a longer life, they are smaller yet sturdier, and they have faster switching capability, which means a quicker response time.

Of course, LEDs are more expensive than traditional bulbs at the front end, but in the long term, they will drastically reduce operation and maintenance costs. The concept is such a sound one that we are suggesting that our tenants consider retrofitting all traditional 4ft fluorescent light tubes with 4ft LED T8 tubes. Here’s why:

1. Traditional fluorescents require heavy maintenance. This includes replacing electronic ballasts, which is quite labour intensive, as well as frequent changing and proper disposal of blown tubes, both rather costly.

2. Fluorescent fixtures are dangerous. They are filled with a highly toxic mercury vapour which, if leaked, can be hazardous to health. Fluorescents cannot be dumped in a landfill like regular waste. Correct disposal of these lights means capturing and containing the vapour – an expensive process that adds to the inconvenience of using this type of lighting system.

3. LEDS are safe and sensible. With LEDs, there are no hidden maintenance or disposal costs. Coupled with the longer lifespan of the tube, the higher purchase cost begins to make sense when translated into energy savings. Depending on the type and brand of LED and how it is used, electricity and maintenance savings can be more than 50% of that for traditional fluorescent tubes.

In Trinidad and Tobago, electricity costs are low compared to many other parts of the world, but with inflation, as well as technological and operational costs to consider, rates are bound to increase in the future. RGM therefore feels that a switch to LED lighting systems would be a wise investment for both the company and our tenants, positioning us ahead of the game and making our buildings – and our businesses – more sustainable.