Springhill looking to save on streetlight costs

Darrell Cole
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SPRINGHILL - Springhill is one of several municipalities taking part in a project that will hopefully lead to more energy efficient streetlights.

The study, announced by the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, will examine energy efficient street lighting practices and technology. The study is being funded by Conserve Nova Scotia, the Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia Power and the UNSM.

Street lights are a significant expenditure and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions for municipalities across the province. Springhill is just one town that is grappling with the issue. The town's director of engineering and public works said at least 35 per cent of Springhill's total energy budget is related to street lighting.

"We're concerned that so many of our tax dollars go towards this one component of our operations," John Kelly said. "Plus, we estimate the energy use of our street lights contribute to several hundred tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year. We are looking to find ways to reduce both the costs and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions of street lights."

The study will help municipalities effectively plan for street lighting requirements and help them establish standards for street lighting while saving money and cutting emissions.

The issue is not unique to Nova Scotia's towns and cities. In some of the province's smaller, rural municipalities, street lighting represents the single largest energy expense - over 75 per cent in some cases.

"We felt it was important to provide options for all of our municipalities related to this topic. We are hearing how municipalities across Canada are starting to switch to more efficient street-lighting technologies, or are reducing wattages of lights to conserve energy, or are using dimming controls. We want to see what might work here," UNSM president Russell Walker said.

There are approximately 135,000 street lights in the province owned by Nova Scotia Power, and HRM owns an additional 13,000 of their own street lights.

The report is expected in November.


Organizations: Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Canada

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