Policy Solution on Street Lighting using LED

This solution defines a policy for outlining the requirement to use energy efficient technology in all governmental operations and in all systems providing lighting services to the community. This policy goes hand-in-hand with a public procurement policy, by ensuring sustainable procurement requirements are included as relevant to lighting and lighting systems

Motivation / Relevance

Such a policy is often part of the policy portfolio to respond to climate change and to transition to sustainable energy solutions. The policy enables an approach to defining cost-effective energy efficient lighting. An easy action, this typically falls within the mandate of the government level that also oversees its implementation, or which is outsourced by the government to a third party – and directed as per the requirement.

Main impacts

A clear policy can help to improve lighting services in the community, but also provide market signals in terms of demand for energy efficient technologies, accelerate the introduction and uptake of new technologies, and strengthen and enforce minimum energy performance standards for lighting (International Energy Agency, IEA, 2011).

A policy translates targets (such as access to energy or greenhouse gas emission reduction targets) into actions that require clear mandates and responsibilities, as well as market-based approaches, financial mechanisms, and consumer/ corporate programs. This policy, when implemented, can ensure efficient lighting services are provided to the community, reduce energy demand, and improve energy efficiency.

The IEA provides an estimation of the possible impact of policy recommendations on energy efficiency. Lighting is included as one of seven priority areas. The IEA estimates that recommended energy efficiency policies could save as much as 7.6 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbondioxide per annum (CO2/year) by 2030. Here lighting policies can contribute up to 5% of total CO2 savings potential (IEA, 2011).

Benefits and Co-Benefits

  • Reduced electricity consumption while providing the same or improved lighting levels. Street lighting has been reported to be responsible for up to 40% of municipal energy bills. LED systems have higher lumen efficacy, resulting in 40 - 70% reductions in electricity consumption, compared to conventional options.
  • Lower lifetime costs due to energy savings and other avoided costs in maintenance, part repair and replacement. The total cost of ownership (TCO) of a LED street lighting system can be lower by more than 50% of a conventional option (Development Finance International, Inc. (DFI), 2014). Los Angeles annually saves over US$ 9 million from 63% reduced energy consumption and US$ 2.5 million in reduced maintenance (City of Los Angeles, 2018).
  • Reduced GHG emissions equivalent to the grid electricity emission factor for each kWh saved. Pilot trials and large-scale rollouts showed reductions of as much as 50-70% (Development Finance International, Inc. (DFI), 2014).
  • Opportunity to re-assess current and future lighting needs of the community and possibilities for infrastructure modernization, e.g. through smart systems.
  • The policy can be an enabler of fast action in the lighting sector.