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Public Lighting

Case Study:

Improving Public Lighting Energy Efficiency

Public Lighting


In April 2014, Kilkenny County Council became city partner, and 3 Counties Energy Agency (3CEA) acted as facilitator, in the Intelligent Energy Europe Streetlight Energy Performance Contract project.

The aim of the project was to create the demand and supply for energy performance contracting for street lighting in Ireland and across Europe. As part of this, energy performance contract projects were identified and delivered. Kilkenny County Council and 3CEA identified a large project consisting mainly of the declassified road network in Kilkenny and other areas of the city and county with inefficient lighting.Street lighting 2


Street lighting in Kilkenny County Council accounts for 50% of the annual energy spend. After the M8 and M9 motorways were opened, previous national roads in Kilkenny were declassified to regional roads. The lighting on these declassified regional routes in Kilkenny consisted of a mixture of high-energy intensity discharge SON and SOX lighting. There are in excess of 10,000 streetlights owned and operated by Kilkenny County Council. The pilot project identified the retrofit of 1,300 (13%) of the street lighting stock of Kilkenny County Council.

The project involved energy savings on the declassified road networks, as well as roads in one industrial estate and four housing estates (Table 1). A successful application for funding was submitted to the SEAI through the Better Energy Communities 2017 grant application.

The project was procured in May and awarded in July 2017. The project commenced in July 2017 with the ordering of lanterns (six to eight weeks). The project was completed in October 2017 and consisted of 1,300 lamps being changed to energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Each lantern was designed individually, and the lighting scheme benefitted from the new dimming profiles.

  Annual Energy (kWh) Annual costs (Euro) Annual CO2 (kg)
Before project 1,091,873 148,713 580,876
After project 346,300 47,166 184,231
Savings 745,573 101,547 396,645
% saving 68% 68% 68%

Table 1:

Benefits of solution

The energy-efficient lighting project achieved 68% savings in energy spending and has made a significant contribution to Kilkenny County Council’s energy efficiency target of 33% by 2020 relative to 2009 energy usage.

The benefits of the new lighting can be seen in towns and villages across Kilkenny. Additional social benefits of an LED lighting system include providing a safer environment, helping to lessen street crime and the fear of crime, and reducing the number and severity of night-time accidents. Residential estates have also benefited from more energy-efficient streetlights, coupled with the benefit of better security and better light output, resulting in peace of mind and safety at night.


Project Details:

January 2017 – December 2019.

Further information
Following the success of the pilot project, Kilkenny County Council has continued with the retrofit of street lighting across the county. In 2018, Kilkenny County Council was successful in securing grant aid from the SEAI to retrofit a further 2,200 streetlights. The Council has further planned to retrofit an additional 1,500 streetlights in 2019.

Local authority project contact
Tim Butler
Director of Services

Declan Keogh
Energy Officer