AT&T Saving $8 Million Annually With Enlighted Lighting System

Through its pay-per-savings business model, Enlighted has outfitted 240 AT&T facilities in 30 states with its sensor-based lighting-control system.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Mar 26, 2015

Last year, Enlighted, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of lighting- and energy-management systems, began installing its light sensors into lighting fixtures at AT&T offices, garages and call centers. Currently, Enlighted has fitted them into 240 of the telecommunications provider's facilities, amounting to just 20 percent of the firm's 120 million square feet of real estate, according to Zach Gentry, Enlighted's VP of business development.

AT&T's energy savings has amounted to $8 million annually, Gentry says, noting that AT&T plans to continue rolling out Enlighted's sensors to control lighting at all of its facilities nationwide. Once that rollout is complete, Enlighted's system could reduce AT&T's energy consumption by 195 gigawatt-hours—which could net the firm $200 million in cost savings over a span of 10 years.

Enlighted's smart light sensor
Enlighted sensors measure motion (to determine occupancy), ambient light and indoor ambient temperature. Each sensor can monitor a 10-foot by 10-foot space and is integrated into a lighting fixture—either linking directly into an LED fixture or wired into a fluorescent fixture's ballast, using a power pack provided by Enlighted. For AT&T, Gentry says, Enlighted installs LED fixtures as part of retrofitting projects, and deploys the sensors at the same time.

Gentry believes that the AT&T deployment (and others like it—many of which, he says, Enlighted cannot yet discuss publicly) has proven the utility of Enlighted's Global Energy Optimization (GEO) financing model, which is designed to eliminate capital constraints as hurdles to large deployments of Enlighted's technology. GEO is structured so that a customer pays a fee based on the amount of energy it saves, an arrangement dubbed Savings as a Service.

Under the GEO model, which is targeted at large corporations with many buildings or campuses, a company implements lighting upgrades at all of its facilities, and Enlighted installs its lighting-control system, coupled with LED lights, at no initial cost. In exchange, the customer agrees to pay, during a pre-determined timeframe, a pre-arranged rate (in cents per kilowatt-hour) for the electricity it saves thanks to Enlighted's technology. At the conclusion of this timeframe, the customer owns the system.

"If, after the technology is installed, the customer does not pay less [than they were previously paying], then we don't get paid," Gentry explains.

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