At the May monthly meeting of Offaly County Council, it was agreed that a project be undertaken in collaboration with a number of other County Councils to upgrade all public street lighting across Offaly and the Eastern region to LED lighting.
A similar motion was first proposed by Cllr John Clendennen in February 2015, and since then Offaly County Council have upgraded approximately 3,000 of its circa 8,000 lights to LED. It is currently estimated that it will cost approximately €3.5 Million to upgrade the remaining 5,000 public street lights in Offaly to LED.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland are responsible for approximately a further 1,000 units, most of which are upgraded to LED, or will be this year.
The meeting was told by Director of Services, Tom Shanahan, ‘the energy consumption for LED lighting is 50% of that of conventional street lighting and this regional approach will involve nine local authorities, Offaly, Carlow, Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Kildare Tipperary and Kilkenny acting at the Lead Authority for the region’.
According to Cllr Clendennen, ‘this initiative is a major step forward in maximising the efficiency of public street lighting across the county, which will result in reduced maintenance and energy costs, whilst improving the quality of public street lighting. It is estimated that savings will amount to €3.8 Million over ten years, with the project essentially paying for itself which is an important factor and contributing to fewer carbon emissions for the county’.
The Birr District Councillor continued by calling on ‘Offaly County Council to conduct a full study of the lighting stock across the county and use this opportunity to ensure areas inadequately served by public street lighting at present would see improvements’.
The upgrade of the remaining public Street Lighting stock to LED is one of the objectives of the Offaly Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and the energy savings will also significantly contribute to achieving the energy efficient targets set for the Local Government Sector.
Cllr Clendennen concluded his remarks, with a proposal to the Council Executive ‘that once the public street lighting upgrades be paid for that the annual savings would be ring-fenced for community focused initiatives’. The upgrade initiative is expected to commence once the project has been agreed by all County Councils across the region.