Friday, August 20, 2010

BBC team to look at how streetlights are saving the environment and money in Calgary

Assembling the EnviroSmart lights
The City of Calgary’s successful EnviroSmart streetlight program is receiving more international attention.

A television production team from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is in Calgary today to film a report on Calgary’s EnviroSmart Streetlights Retrofit Program. The visiting journalists from the BBC program, “Inside Out (South East)” are investigating how southeast England has been negatively impacted by light pollution. They are filming in Calgary to get a glimpse of what can be done to combat waste from errant light.

BBC Producer/Director, Keir MacKenzie, said, "Light pollution is having a major impact in Britain. Calgary has decided to invest time and money tackling the problem. We're here to see how Calgary's efforts have helped reduce energy waste and again reveal the night's sky to its residents."

The City of Calgary was the first city in North America to launch an extensive program to retrofit residential streetlights with new lower wattage, flat lens fixtures that reduce operating costs and protect the environment. Since the retrofit, all new streetlights and replacement streetlights in Calgary are flat lens style EnviroSmart streetlights. Calgary has set a standard that other municipalities in North America and Western Europe are following to practice more responsible streetlighting.

 “We are proud to be recognized for our energy efficient streetlighting that saves money while maintaining safe lighting levels,” stated Troy McLeod, Roads’ Traffic Manager for The City of Calgary.  “Currently, The City of Calgary is piloting other streetlighting programs using new technologies with potential energy and cost savings.”

The BBC is highlighting The City’s program to retrofit over 37,500 high wattage, dropped lens residential streetlights with new lower wattage, flat lens fixtures.

From the beginning of the retrofit in 2002 to June 2010, The City has realized:

  • Energy savings of 107,000 MWh;
  • Carbon dioxide emissions reductions of 124,000 tonnes; and
  • Cost savings of $11 million from reduced energy consumption.

Support from City Council and partnerships with organizations like the Calgary Police Service, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), Climate Change Central and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada helped bring this idea of reducing light pollution to fruition.

 “The EnviroSmart Streetlight Retrofit Program is a cornerstone for light pollution reduction efforts in Calgary. It has reduced energy consumption and associated carbon dioxide emissions, improved visibility, lessened the impact on the nocturnal environment and reduced sky glow,” said Bob King, Chairman, Light Pollution Abatement Committee of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Calgary Centre).

Installing the EnviroSmart lights
The City has previously received accolades for our “green” streetlights from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and other organizations including the International Dark-Sky Association, the Calgary Awards, the Alberta Emerald Foundation for Environmental Excellence, Natural Resources Canada, the American Public Works Association and the prestigious Dubai International Best Practices Awards.For more information on the EnviroSmart Streetlights Retrofit Program, visit and follow the links under “Streetlights”.

Image***Before the retrofit, Calgary streetlighting levels were among the highest in North America. The satellite photograph at right shows the light captured by a satellite over western Canada and the United States in 2001. The photograph demonstrates that much of the light generated in Calgary at that time was directed up into the night sky.

No comments:

Post a Comment