Santander, Spain hosted the recent Street Lighting EPC event. “STREETLIGHT-EPC” is setting up Regional EPC Facilitation Services (helpdesks) in 9 European regions for municipalities and SMEs as potential ESCOs. The partner regions are implementing energy efficient street lighting refurbishment projects using Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). This will help create knowledge and trust in both EPC and LED technology” (FEDARENE).
Old street lighting systems can account for 30-50% of municipalities’ total electricity consumption. Yet, current technologies offer 30-70% potential energy savings. These potential savings have been recognised and incorporated into European policies: EU Regulation 245/2009 sets phasing out requirements for nearly 80% of all currently used lamp types between 2012 and 2017. This means that these lamp types will no longer be available on the market for purchase.
Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) offers municipalities an innovative, but still under-used, solution to finance a transition to energy efficient street lighting with energy savings guarantees. Street lighting is a good “learning and testing ground” for EPC due to its lower technical and economic complexity compared to building-related EPC. Furthermore, the recent market introduction of LED technology offers high energy and cost savings with comparatively short pay-back times.
EPC Street Lighting – Successes
Palencia/Spain – a pioneer project
- Population: 81,000
- Urban area with 11,000 lighting points.
- Before renovation, mostly high-pressure sodium lamps and high pressure mercury lamps were used, frequently with low efficiency and insufficient colour rendition.
- In the context of a streetlight-EPC project, as a first step, 3,139 luminaires were changed to LED.
- An individual luminaire dimming control system was installed.
- Contract duration: 12 years
- Guaranteed energy savings: 75 %
- Total savings: 2,000,000 Euro
Wels/Austria – comprehensive LED project
- Population: 61,000 total street lighting system: 7,700 lights and 9,100 lamps
- Prior to the retrofitting project, mercury vapour discharge lamps (HQL), sodium lamps, plug-in solutions and fluorescent lamps were in use, of which 4,500 were older than 15 years.
- Between 2011 and 2014, 50 % of the lighting system was converted to LED technology.
- A third of the street lighting is dimmed to 50 % between 21:30 and 5:30, resulting in increased saving without compromising road safety.
- Investment by the ESCO: 1,656,000 Euro
- Contract duration: 7 years
- Achieved annual savings: 36 % (guaranteed)