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Bring light into upper level rooms that do not have enough windows, or, perhaps, any windows at all. When adding or replacing existing skylights, choose ENERGY STAR® qualified skylights with a U-Factor of 0.60 or less. Skylights not only save you money by reducing the need to power as many interior lights during the day, but they also visually enhance your office.
As the sun moves across the sky, you will see how the light accents different interior features or corporate 'displays' at different times of day. For an interior kitchen, break room, bathroom, or office supply room, skylights simply add welcomed natural light and reduce your electric bill. If you are considering moving offices, adding on to your current office, or building a new office, remember that you can reduce your lighting electricity cost by 50% to 80% with natural lighting. So, go for a few skylights on the top floor.
To put it in perspective, the average US cost of energy per employee is $568 of which $119 (21%) typically goes toward lighting. For an office of ten employees the annual lighting cost is $1,200. So, adding skylights, windows and sun tubes or picking a building that has plenty of natural light may help save you money and make an all around more enjoyable work experience. Since certain interior areas like office supply rooms and bathrooms are typically away from outside walls, they usually do not have windows. These spaces are well suited for skylights as well as sun tubes, also called sun tunnels, because the lights are often left on in these rooms when they are not occupied. These support area rooms are also the most ideal for Occupancy Sensor switches.
When it comes to choosing a skylight go for the high performance Low Emissive (Low-E) glass option which can help reduce your energy bill up to 15%. The savings come in the way that the glass transfers heat, and Low-E also reduces fading by up to 75%. The metallic coating does not reduce visibility, because it reflects the long-wave light rays that carry heat and UV but not light.
The average life of a Low-E skylight is 30 years, and the cost to replace an average sized 3' x 4' skylight is typically $750 - $950 for materials and labor. Low-E windows may only cost about 5% more than equivalent products without Low-E. The skylight ROI Calculation is based on the added Low-E cost of $35 for two high efficiency skylight and $15 of energy savings per skylight per year. Plus get Tax Credits: The ROI is also increased if you factor in the savings offset of purchasing, installing, and powering two light fixtures that would be needed to give off the light generated by the skylight.