by Chloe Kellner, Intern, Building Energy Exchange
On June 21, 20223, Building Energy Exchange hosted its annual social media campaign, Daylight Hour, to celebrate energy efficiency in the built environment. The campaign invited offices from around the world to turn off their lights for one hour on the sunniest day of the year and promote their involvement on social media.
Commercial buildings in the U.S. use 11% of their total electricity for lighting, more than double that of residential buildings. Given this, daylighting office spaces is an impactful and easy way to reduce energy use and carbon emissions, particularly during the summer when daylight lasts the longest. In addition to energy and climate benefits, daylighting is shown to increase productivity, regulate circadian rhythms, and reduce eyestrain. Daylight Hour emphasized this important and straightforward measure for offices to both improve employee wellbeing and move towards an energy efficient future.
By engaging online, Daylight Hour provided a fun and simple way for office members to come together and increase awareness around the energy, climate, health, and comfort benefits of daylighting. Participants shared photos and videos from their workplace online and competed for Daylight Hour participation awards.
This year, Daylight Hour reached 702 offices and 50,722 people from 32 countries and turned off the lights in over 120 million square feet of office space—one of our most impactful Daylight Hours to date, particularly after the start of remote and hybrid workplaces. Through their combined effort, Daylight Hour participants saved 217,655kWh of energy in just one hour, highlighting the power of collective action. Participants came from all sectors, including architecture and real estate, government agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations — from Arup and Thornton Tomasetti, to SUNY and CUNY; the Museum of Modern Art to the National Resources Defense Council.
Our awards this year went out to Perkins Eastman, Shanghai (Best View), Curtis & Ginsberg Architects (Co-worker), McGillin Architecture (Early Bird), NYCEEC (Most Photogenic), Sage and Coombe Architects (Most Lit), Straub Junqueira (Regional Actor), 32BJ Training Fund (Sustainability), and CUNY Staten Island (Spirit).
Daylight Hour 2023, NYCEEC
It was inspiring to see the support for Daylight Hour this year, and we want to thank all the participants and people involved in making the campaign a success.
Lights off, daylight on!