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The Climate Group calls for all city street lighting to switch to LED by 2025: new report reveals carbon and cost savings

Date
24 September 2015
The Climate Group calls for all city street lighting to switch to LED by 2025: new report reveals carbon and cost savings

NEW YORK: Today, The Climate Group, which is hosting its annual Climate Week NYC, called on every single city and utility around the world to schedule the switch of their street lighting to LED by 2025 and launched its new major global campaign LED = Lower Emissions Delivered, to encourage local governments, cities and utilities to embrace the carbon and cost benefits of switching to LED.

A new report, The Big Switch: Why it's time to scale up LED street lighting, published by The Climate Group today, reveals that major cities around the world want to upgrade to LED. Technological barriers for switching to LED have now been overcome. However, in the run-up to COP21, cities want more support from government and financial institutions to refine business models and financing options to help make the switch.

Trials show that those cities that have adopted LED street lighting achieved energy savings of between 50-70% and these savings increase when combined with LED smart controls.

The findings are the result of a two-year consultation by The Climate Group with cities, following our global LED street-lighting trials in 12 major cities including New York, London, Kolkata and Sydney. The consultations were conducted in cooperation with Philips Lighting.

“As an emissions-cutting and money-saving technology, LED street lighting is the big no-brainer. There is no longer any reason why the big switch shouldn’t start today, accelerating adoption in the US and around the world”, said Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group. “Our global trials and stakeholder consultations have shown that, when it comes to tackling climate change, LEDs are the lowest of the low hanging fruit and easiest to implement. It’s technically proven, commercially viable, and already resulting in major savings for cities around the world. With the number of street lights around the world likely to hit 350 million by 2025, local governments, utilities and financial institutions need to work together to ensure that all new and existing street lights are LED – or of equivalent energy efficiency – by 2025.”

“Here, in New York, the city is replacing 250,000 street lights with LED, this is the largest project of its kind in the US. By 2017, the city will be saving US$14 million in energy and maintenance costs. If every outdoor light in the US was switched to LED, the nation would save US$6 billion - and the carbon reductions would be the same as taking 8.5 million cars off the roads.”

In 2013, the city of Los Angeles started installing 140,000 LED street lights. It has already reported energy savings of 63% and cost savings around US$8.7 million in 2014. Today, with the help of Philips Lighting, the city is upgrading to ‘Smart LEDs’, a system that uses mobile and cloud-based technologies, with potential energy savings of up to 80%.

 “The move to new LED and connected LED street lighting is encouraging,” said Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting, “However, the current renovation rates of existing streetlights are too slow. We need to double the renovation rate so that we keep pace with the rising demand for energy. Renewing existing infrastructure with LEDs needs to be a priority if cities are to realize the benefits of saving in money and energy and better lit, safer streets.

Switching to LEDs is not only beneficial in terms of savings and emissions, according to The Climate Group’s report, which also highlights additional socio-economic benefits. Light quality improvements result in better visibility and reductions in road accidents. Cities upgrading to LED street lights have also reported opportunities for new commercial investment and enhancement of regions which benefit from the improved infrastructure.


Notes to editor

Lighting as a whole now accounts for around 19% of global electricity consumption. Outdoor lighting can make up between 20-40% of a city’s energy budget. Light and the environment

If all global indoor and outdoor lighting was converted to LED, this would reduce global electricity consumption for lighting by more than 52% and avoid 735 million tonnes of CO2 each year. The emissions savings would be equivalent to the total CO2 output of the US States Texas and Iowa put together, or:

  • cutting out 2.3 % of the global CO2 emission (global emission 31734 million tonnes CO2/year), or
  • cutting out 14.2 % of the USA CO2 emission (USA emission 5153 million tonnes CO2/year) or
  • the emission of California, Pennsylvania and New York combined (California emits 345 million tonnes CO2 /year, Pennsylvania emits 233 million tonnes CO2 /year and New York emits 145 million tonnes CO2 /year) or
  • The emission of UK and Spain combined over a year (UK emits 457.5 million tonnes CO2 /year and Spain emits 266 million tonnes CO2/year)

The Climate Group is also calling for a broader spectrum of financing options to help cities make the change to LED. The Climate Group is convening a high level roundtable of city representatives, utility companies and financial institutions in New York on September 24 to urge broad stakeholder support for the campaign.

As a symbol of this collaboration and commitment and as a visible call to action for cities around the globe, the iconic Times Square Ball, lit by 32,256 Philips Luxeon LEDs, has been programmed to display ongoing variations of the color green interspersed with images of a spinning planet earth throughout all of Climate Week NYC.

The Climate Group announced the launch of a major global campaign called “LED = Lower Emissions Delivered” to encourage local governments, cities and utilities to embrace the carbon and cost benefits of switching to LED and support global carbon emission reductions. “LED isn’t just about cutting CO2 emissions: for cost-conscious city leaders looking to save money, it also leaves them with ‘Lots of Extra Dollars’,” said The Climate Group’s CEO Mark Kenber. For more information on the LED=Lower Emissions Delivered campaign, today’s new report and facts and figures visit www.theclimategroup.org.


Media contacts

 

Beth Woodthorpe-Evans
Media Relations Manager, The Climate Group
media@theclimategroup.org | +44 (0)7912514445

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Jeroen Gerlag

Global Communications Coordinator, The Climate Group

jgerlag@theclimategroup.org | media@theclimategroup.org | +44 (0)7946575433

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Havas Communications

HPR-CWNYCMedia@havashealth.com



About Climate Week NYC

Climate Week NYC is a key event in the international calendar that brings together leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has acted as the secretariat since its inception.

Host to more than 100 affiliate events from September 21-28, Climate Week NYC 2015 is the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Climate Group is also hosting a Climate Week ‘countdown’ from September 1 until the opening of the week; during which a series of announcements, report launches and major commitments from business and sub-national leaders will be made.

Climate Week NYC 2015 is supported by BT Group, Siemens, Procter & Gamble, Nike, SkyPower, SolarCity, CBRE Group, and Bank of the West - BNP Parisbas; and the We Mean Business coalition members: BSR, The B Team, CDP, Ceres, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and WBCSD.

ClimateWeekNYC.org | @ClimateWeekNYC | #CWNYC

 

About The Climate Group

The Climate Group is an award-winning, international non-profit. Our goal is a prosperous, low carbon future. We believe this will be achieved through a ‘clean revolution’: the rapid scale-up of low carbon energy and technology. We work with corporate and government partners to develop climate finance mechanisms, business models which promote innovation, and supportive policy frameworks. We convene leaders, share hard evidence of successful low carbon growth, and pilot practical solutions which can be replicated worldwide.

Since 2009, The Climate Group has been the convenor of Climate Week NYC. In September 2014, Climate Week NYC hosted 150 events as the collaborative space in support of the UN Climate Summit.

Theclimategroup.org | @ClimateGroup | #CWNYC


#CWNYC 2015

Climate Week NYC is a key event in the international calendar that brings together leading governments, investors, businesses, innovators and opinion formers. The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC in 2009, and has acted as the secretariat since its inception.

Host to more than 100 affiliate events from September 21-28, Climate Week NYC 2015 is the collaborative space for climate events in support of the UN Summit to adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Climate Week NYC 2015 is supported by BT Group, Siemens, Procter & Gamble, Nike, SkyPower, SolarCity, CBRE Group, and Bank of the West - BNP Paribas; and the We Mean Business coalition members: BSR, The B Team, CDP, Ceres, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and WBCSD.

ClimateWeekNYC.org | @ClimateWeekNYC | #CWNYC

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