"With LED road lighting, Nova Scotia will save millions of dollars by using about half the energy of current lighting, and improve our air quality while reducing our carbon footprint," said Mr. Parker. The Province has an estimated 120,000 street lights. The regulations require that Nova Scotia Power complete its conversion by December 31, 2019, while municipalities will have until December 31, 2022.
The majority of the street lights are owned and operated by Nova Scotia Power, while 10% belong to municipalities. Electricity cost in Halifax for residents is $0.14/kWh, with most of it being supplied by coal-burning power plants.
The first plan to mandate the use of LED street lighting in Nova Scotia was proposed by Province Premier Darrell Dexter almost a year and a half ago. At that time a 5-year conversion was proposed and the estimated cost of installing the 120,000 street lights was $100 million. It was also estimated at the time that energy savings upon full conversion would be $18 million per year.
Now the province has stated that the regulations are expected to save $5 million a year in energy costs upon full conversion with additional savings in maintenance cost. Nova Scotia Power is proposing a new rate plan for street-light customers that will not increase annual costs for seven years and rate reduction is available if they use Nova Scotia Power-owned lights. Municipalities that choose to own their own lights could also benefit from lower financing costs.
"Many of our municipalities have already switched over to LED roadway lights and are reporting operational savings," said Mr. Parker. "The province is also making low-cost financing available so more municipalities can take advantage of these savings sooner."
The regulations were drafted by the Department of Energy after public consultations and meetings with the LED Working Group that includes Halifax Regional Municipality, Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, Efficiency Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Power.