September 2023 – Energy Scouts at Croatian machine builder convert to LED lighting

The machine builder Harburg-Freudenberger (“HF”) operates its largest manufacturing facility in Belišće, Croatia, with around 600 employees and 100,000 m² of floor space for production halls, assembly, logistics and office space. High-quality machines, components and parts in the field of rubber processing, such as vulcanizing presses, are primarily manufactured there.

The Energy Scouts Tea Tomanić, Magdalena Štimac, Luka Perošević and Toni Ćužić, experts in building management, measurement and regulation technology and occupational health and safety, started with an analysis of the work processes and energy consumption and listed possible improvements. They quickly came up with the solution to replace all existing lighting in Belišće and Valpovo with energy-efficient LED lighting. The system previously used was old and inefficient, consuming 1,174 MWh per year – about 20% of the site’s total electricity consumption. By using LED lighting, the Energy Scouts achieved significant quantitative savings in ongoing energy costs and a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. In qualitative terms, the better lighting quality and output improved working conditions for the workforce as well. The Energy Scout team was knocking on open doors when proposing their practical project to the management so that, in addition, a suitable government subsidy was found. Thanks to the subsidy, the necessary investment of around €250,000 paid for itself after just 2.7 years – without the subsidy it would have taken almost 4 years.

After the implementation of the project savings of 49% were measured in practice.


  • Industry sector: mechanical engineering
  • Energy source: electrical energy
  • Energy saving potential: 575.1 MWh/year
  • Savings potential CO2: 83.39 tons CO2/year
  • Potential cost reduction: 65,000 €/per year
  • Investment costs: 250,000 €
  • Payback period: 3.9 years without subsidy
Three big old ceiling lamps for industrial use
Before the retrofit, these types of lighting were installed in the company. (©hf belisce)
Left: An aisle in a warehouse, left and right high shelves with packages, LED lighting on the ceiling Right: An aisle in a warehouse, left and right high shelves with packages, LED lighting on the ceiling, a man with a yellow Energy Scout Vest taking notes
After the retrofit, the luminous efficiency increased and the energy costs for light decreased by 49%. (©hf belisce)
An industrial hall with scaffolding, on the ceiling LED lamps
In combination with skylights or the classic "shed roof", fewer light fixtures are needed. (©hf belisce)