The Local Authority Public Lighting Energy Efficiency Project is an ambitious national energy efficiency project to retrofit approximately 280,000 non-LED Local Authority public lights to high efficiency LED Lanterns. There are 24 Local Authorities participating in the project with the four Dublin Local Authorities, Cork City Council, Wexford County Council and Laois County Council not participating in the Project.
The project proposes that 100% of all public lights will be retrofitted with energy efficient LED lanterns.
The project is envisaged to be a regional design and build project with a lead agency in each region and the County of Wicklow falls within Eastern Region with Kilkenny County Council acting as Lead Agency for the region.
The Project Objective is to “maximise energy savings, on a cost effective, consistent basis across participating local authorities within the shortest timeline, while facilitating and enabling the long term proactive management of the Public Lighting asset”.
The upgrade of Local Authority public lighting is necessary and will result in numerous benefits which can be summarised into three areas.
· Statutory energy efficiency targets & significantly reduced emissions.
· Cost savings with energy and maintenance efficiencies and
· Phase out of production of Low Pressure Sodium lights (SOX).
The energy efficiency targets for Local Authorities were set out in the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP4) where Public Bodies had to be 33% more energy efficient by 2020. These targets were further updated in the 2019 Climate Action Plan which increased the energy efficiency to be achieved to 50% by 2030. It also set out that there is to be 30% reduction in CO2 by 2030.
Public Lighting accounts for approx. 50% of total energy use for Local Authorities and it is anticipated that without this project the majority of Local Authorities will not reach their statutory energy efficiency targets. Once fully retrofitted it is estimated that the project will achieve a 60% energy efficiency thus saving LA’s 84,600 MWh of final energy per year, which is 174,665 MWh TPER per year at (@2017 conversion factors). The CO2 saved per year at current carbon intensity levels will be 43,000 tonnes CO2. Therefore the implementation of an energy efficient upgrade to the Public Lighting asset will have a significant impact on the achievement by Local Authorities of their efficiency targets.
Another benefit to upgrading the public lighting asset would be to save money for Local Authorities as newer lighting types have significantly longer life spans, up to 100,000 hours (20 years) and energy efficiencies of 50% or more. This reason to upgrade alone would result in public lighting costs reducing by 50‐60%
Thirdly one of the largest manufacturers of Low Pressure Sodium Lights (SOX) has ceased production of these lights. Nationally, SOX lights account for 33% of the public lighting stock while in County Wicklow it is closer to 50%. The best solution for this problem is to retrofit these lanterns with LED lanterns.
Tender documentation preparation is underway for the eastern region where it is envisaged that works will commence on this energy efficiency project in early 2022.