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Eco lighting could halve €7m city bill

Dublin City Council could halve its €7m-a-year lighting bill by using more energy-efficient bulbs, it has been claimed.

City bosses spend about €4m a year maintaining its streetlights and a further €3.1m in electricity costs.

However, a company which has developed eco-friendly LED bulbs said these costs could be massively reduced.

Frontline LED, which is seeking to give a presentation to the council's transport and traffic Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), has pointed to Boston as an example.

The US city has announced it is to phase in its use of LED lighting over the next five years.

In a report sent to councillors, Frontline's Cian O'Flaherty said Boston "currently spends about $16m (€11.74m) per year on energy costs and about $2m (€1.4m) in replacement costs for 67,484 streetlights".

"Although LED lights cost more than traditional lights, they could help to reduce as much as 50pc of the city's spending on public lighting in the long run," Mr O'Flaherty said.

"Traditional light sources require replacement every two to three years, whereas LED streetlights would last between 10 and 25 years," he added.

While Dublin city has no LED street lighting at present, it is undertaking a couple of pilot LED projects.

The technology provides an alternative to conventional sodium and CFL bulbs, Mr O'Flaherty added.

His company will be invited to attend the transport SPC if a motion tabled by Labour's Dermot Lacey is passed tomorrow.

Mr Lacey told the Herald that Frontline says "they are offering a far cheaper and better system of public lighting".

He added that the first step would be to invite the company in to make the presentation.

Among the other claims is that LED light "approximates to white light so there is a substantial improvement in CCTV images".

"There is no colour distortion and there is higher resolution for images," Mr O'Flaherty said.

However, it is unclear whether the council has the finance available to cover the cost of conversion.

An LED light bulb is significantly more expensive than the alternatives.