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Street lighting

Street lighting and energy efficiency

Street lighting relates to an entire lighting installation of public or private ownership; its luminous flux is projected over an open space (road, valley, park, ornamental space, etc) of public use. These installations amounted to 8,044,680 light spots, with an average power of 161 W and 5247 hours of annual use. These figures accounted for an electric power consumption of 5,247 GWh/year for the whole of Spain.

Alumbrado exterior. Vista desde abajo de un edificio y una farola

The number of installations and their electric power consumption has increased, hand in hand with the urban development of Spanish municipalities. But at the moment, these street lighting installations are undergoing technological and legal advances which involve a turning point in the consumption trend. Thus, the enactment of the Regulation on energy efficiency in street lighting installations (RD 1890/2008), along with the inrush of LED technology and the hiring of energy service companies by the public administrations are the relevant milestones the last years and which will likely change the installations as we know them today in relation to the lighting of our municipalities and roads.

The pilot experience carried out by IDAE in the Local Councils of Alcorcón &  Soto del Real  to adapt their street lighting installations to the REEIAE provisions through ESCOs stood out the high saving potential for electric power consumption these installations have its main action fields being the cutback of the high lighting level, above all at small hours; the improvement of the existing lamp posts by replacing them with more efficient ones to reduce their light emission towards other spaces other than the lighting focus (light pollution); and the establishment of regulation and control systems of switching on and off of the installations and in order to reduce flux in early morning schedules. Moreover, this saving potential in economic terms enables, in most cases, to make investments with a simple 6-year payback period, which happens to be ideal for ESCO businesses.


Alcorcón Model: Adaptation of the municipality street lighting to the requirements of the REEIAE through an ESCO.

Alcorcón Local Council called a Mixed Tender for Supplies and Services for the management, guidance, comprehensive maintenance and repair of its street lighting installations for a fixed budget of 1,580,000 euros a year (VAT included), on a downward trend and for a 10-year period, aimed at energy service companies.
In parallel, the awarded company, at its own expense, had to adapt all the street lighting installations of Local Council ownership within the scope of the municipality to the prescriptions of the energy efficiency regulations on street lighting installations, as a result of an audit previously carried out by IDAE and the CEI. To do so, the winning company had to submit an Improvement Plan (P4) in its tender, with the description of the investments it got committed to undertake in the municipality and becoming engaged in repaying them at its own expense during the established 10-year period. 
The specifications of the tender stated that: 

  1. The Local Council transfers the use and exploitation of its street lighting installations to an ESCO with enough time for the ESCO to undergo its improvements plan (adaptation of the lighting installations to the REEIAE) and pay it back with the saving. The tender period was set up for the case of Alcorcón at 10 years, as a result of estimating an execution period of two years for the adaptation and renewal works; another 6 year-period to pay them back and a security margin of two years, even if these periods overlapped.
  2. The transfer of use for the said time involves the implicit comprehensive operation and maintenance of the lighting installations on the part of the ESCO.
  3. On the other hand and during that time, the local council shall pay the ESCO the costs that this lighting service has involved so far, put at €1,000,000/year, and the management, maintenance and repair operation costs estimated at €42/light spot a year, that is, €580,000/year. In the case of Alcorcón, the maximum agreement budget amounted to 1,580,000 euros a year.
    The awarding fell on the firm ETRALUX in January 2011. This was the submitted tender:
    a) The management, energy supply, maintenance and repair: 1,500,993.49 euros/year (downward trend of 5%) during the 10 years’ duration of the Agreement. With this amount, ETRALUX will be in charge of the electric power costs in street lighting installations in the municipality of Alcorcón and of its management, maintenance and repair.
    b) Pursuant to the tender bases and at its own expense, ETRALUX submitted an improvement and renewal plan for street lighting installations in its tender, amounting to €3,039,397.18 (VAT excluded). The scope of this installation improvement and renewal plan (P4), submitted by the winning firm at its own expense, consists of the following steps:
    Replacement of lamp posts and light bulbs: the lamp posts of the various light spots will be replaced, inclusive the current globes and its bulbs, by more efficient and appropriate equipment units in terms of the light levels established in the provisions of the regulations.
    Setting up of regulation equipment units: installation of continuous and standalone regulation controllers, with electronic ballast features and with a capacity to regulate each light spot in the lighting installation individually.
    Establishment of a remote control of the electric boards. The action entails the installation of control equipment in each of the 169 existing Command Centres and the use of remote control software in a Control Centre.
    Installation of a LED system, on a trial basis and for citizens’ appraisal, in a given square in the municipality.
    The firm expects to achieve annual savings worth €550,000 once the investments have been made, and with the improvements in the installation management.

Soto del Real. Proyecto de reforma total de la instalación de alumbrado exterior del municipio por una nueva instalación Todo LED. Pliego del Concurso de Colaboración Público Privado para la adecuación de las instalaciones de alumbrado exterior del municipio de Soto del Real a los preceptos del reglamento de eficiencia energética en instalaciones de alumbrado exterior RD 1890/2008. Artículo "Reforma y gestión integral del alumbrado exterior del municipio de Soto del Real a través de una ESE" (Describe todo el proceso del concurso de una ESE hasta su contratación). Imágenes Soto del Real: antes y después

Links of interest

Comité Español de Iluminación, CEI  (Spanish Lighting Committee)

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