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Improving Public Lighting Energy Performance

Case Study:

Improving Public Lighting Energy Performance


All Public Bodies have an obligation, under the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan [NEEAP], to achieve a reduction in energy or energy efficiency improvement of, 33% by 2020, based on the 2009 baseline. Monaghan County Council identified Public Lighting as its Most Significant Energy User (after WS transferred to IW in 2014). 
  • Electrical energy consumption for Public Lighting made up 61% of our total electrical energy consumption and 32% of our total electrical + thermal + transport energy consumption in 2014 (excluding WS)
  • Cost of electrical energy for public lighting was approx. €0.5M per annum in 2014
  • Manufacture of SOX lamps being phased out (last possible order 01 July 2019) 


The retrofit of existing SOX and SON lighting with high energy efficiency LED lighting would provide an approximate 50% energy reduction and a consequent reduction in energy cost.  The energy reduction would significantly help our progress towards the 33/2020 target.

Benefits of solution

  • Environmental; (quantify CO2 reduction, flood reduction, waste reduction etc.)
    • CO2 emissions have been reduced as result of decreased energy consumption
    • Use of LED lighting minimises or, in many cases, eliminates sky glow and light intrusion thereby improving our Dark Sky. o    
    • Reduction in SOX/SON lighting is beneficial for night-time wildlife   
  •  Economic; € (if costed)
    • Since start of retrofit project, energy consumption has been reduced by 36% (to end 2020) and energy cost 24%, (less than planned due to an effective 17% energy cost increase in Oct 2018, new OGP UM Energy Contract)
    • Maintenance costs for public lighting have reduced by approx. 50%, primarily due to reliability & long life of LEDs
  • Social; public engagement etc.
    • White LED lighting provides an improved illumination over SOX/SON lighting thereby improving road safety for vehicle users, cyclists and pedestrians
    • Improved LED illumination makes town and village streets safer at night time, thereby encouraging social activities 

Project Details:

  • 2015 – 2021 (ongoing)
  • As at end Dec 2019, 90% of Monaghan’s public lights have been retrofitted with LEDs
  • Full Public Lighting retrofit within Co Monaghan planned for completion by mid-2021

Further Information:
  • Monaghan has exceeded the 33% / 2020 Energy Target as at end 2019, one year ahead of time (actual energy reduction as at end 2019 is 37.11%). We are now working towards the new 2030 and 2050 Energy & CO2 targets.
  • The 2020 reporting cycle is currently being compiled.
  • SEAI Monitoring & Reporting – public access
  • Please note, this site is updated for 2019 data at present, 2020 to be updated by SEAI in September 2021. The site details the energy reduction or energy efficiency improvements made by each Public Body. To view Monaghan County Council performance, input Monaghan County Council into the search box and select “View”.
Screenshot of the latest SEAI Monitoring & Reporting data for Monaghan Co Council, including 2019, is shown below. The 2020 “Actual” data will be accessible by the public later this year.

Local authority project contact
Vincent McKenna
Executive Engineer
Corporate Energy & Public Lighting