Companies making a New Year’s resolution for green office solutions are getting some help from the Department of Energy. Writing for the Energy Collective, scientist Noah Horowitz recently addressed changes the agency recently made to fluorescent light use standards in the United States. It has set certain requirements that will affect the way these tubular light sources are used.

Because fluorescent bulbs account for as much as 70 percent of electricity use across the country, understanding the new criteria will help companies adjust their own offices accordingly and start spending less money. The lighting standards are, according to Horowitz, part of a larger series that collectively could account for billions of dollars in savings over the next 15 years for the entire country.

These fluorescent bulbs seem to be more desirable for energy efficiency than incandescent ones, which were “phased out” as the result of a Congressional measure last year. Businesses need to be aware of the change and the improvements that fluorescent light systems could bring with them.

To meet these standards, Horowitz writes, businesses may have to commit to long-term change in their workplaces.

“Under the new DOE standards that go in to effect in 2018, new lamps will need to be 4 percent more efficient than current ones and 23 percent more efficient than those sold before 2012, the date when DOE’s last standard for these common lighting tubes went into effect,” he said.

Many businesses could stand to spend more on energy than they realize by using out-of-date lighting systems. Making the effort to change your lighting system could increase your company’s overall energy efficiency and help you put a workable set of standards in place for updating the lights in the future.