By BizLED Bureau
Mar 16, 2016: According to a survey by the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Washington DC this year, mayors in the US rank energy efficient LED lighting as a promising technology for city administrators to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions for next two years.
The survey was titled ‘How energy Technologies are Reshaping American cities’, LED lighting overtook other clean technologies and lesser carbon solutions as the technology of choice for mayors. The USCM has representatives from 1,400 US cities with more than 30,000 members. They bring mayors together to promote the development of national and urban policy.
A similar survey in 2014 gave LEDs priority over other low carbon technologies in US cities, with a 29% consensus. With time, technology and improvements, agreement around the benefits of LED lighting has grown dramatically and leading all others with a 41% share of registered polls. We discuss some of the advantages in detail
Energy efficient street lighting
US cities are already taking benefits from energy efficient LED lighting in public buildings or street lighting. The majority of the mayors are planning to deploy LED lights in coming two years. Street lighting, in particular, is the application of choice.
Prominent reason being LED lighting as highly potential source to reduce electricity bills by up to 50-70%, increased energy savings and low maintenance costs. There are socio-economic benefits linked to better-lit city environments as it leads to increased public safety and well-being.
‘Connected lighting’ means monitoring and managing light remotely using embedded software in smartphones or tablets, 67% of poll seekers are aware of the term and 60% of those are now actively considering its deployment. Connected lighting can save an additional 5-25% energy savings for streetlights.
The Climate Group, in partnership with Philips lighting, is running a global consultation program to identify and address barriers to large-scale energy efficient lighting adoption.
Street lighting ownership was showcased as a particular obstacle in US cities. Currently, an estimated 26 million streetlights are in the US, where private sectors own or operate around 60% of the share.
A consultation workshop was held at the National League of Cities Congress in Austin, Texas in December 2014. The workshop highlighted how city managers can see the monetary and environmental benefits from a transition to energy efficient lighting and want to scale up LEDs.
Adoption is still being delayed in spite of technological barriers, which have been overcome. In the US, many city authorities reported that complex ownership of the public lighting is delaying adoption of LED streetlights.
Addressing the need for such a dialogue, a roundtable with key US stakeholders and city representatives was held in Climate Week NYC in September 2015 to discuss innovative polices encouraging the transition, such as incentivizing investor-owned US utilities. The Climate Group asked US utilities to publish their plan to explore the benefits of LED lighting by December 2016.
The Climate Group will continue to drive the conversation around accelerating LED adoption by holding roundtables with stakeholders, highlighting best practices and exploring new policy solutions, and progressive utilities.