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30 Nov 2021

Cost of lighting up Laois streets to rise despite new LED bulbs

Cost of lighting up Laois streets to rise despite new LED bulbs

Low energy LED white lights

More than half of the annual electricity bill paid by Laois County Council is for streetlights, and the cost is set to rise despite the changeover to low energy LED bulbs.

Up to now the council had been using the money they saved on the LED electricity usage to install some 6,500 new white streetlights.

However the rise in energy prices means that streetlights maintenance and electricity will cost more instead of less next year.  

Public lighting cost €1.15 million including €61,000 for extra lights this year. It was 53% of the council's total energy bill.

The new lightbulbs should have cut €150,000 off that bill, having saved 750,500 KWH per year. 

Instead the bill will go up, due to energy price increases and the extra lights to maintain. In 2022, the council has budgeted €1.2 million.

Portlaoise got funding to get the new LED lights, after been chosen as a pilot Low Carbon Town in the national 2019 Climate Action Plan. It has had 2,500 streetlights replaced.

"At this point nearly 6,500 lights (70% of total stock) have been replaced in the county," the CEO John Mulholland said. 

The yellow lights are being phased out to meet carbon targets and also because they will soon no longer be manufactured, the council has said in the past. However the white LED lights caused complaints in Portlaoise with people saying they do not light up the ground as well.

The council then increased the brightness of some, added extra streetlights in other places and cut back trees blocking the lights. 

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