LED Lights could save money and generate jobs

Energy Minister Charlie Parker said a new provincial LED lighting plan could bring huge savings to the Halifax region and more jobs to Nova Scotians.

“From an ecological and financial point of view, this plan would be a winner,” he said.

By Barrett Limoges

The Halifax region may soon be adding LED bulbs to their arsenal of street lights (Barrett Limoges photo).

Energy Minister Charlie Parker said a new provincial LED lighting plan could bring huge savings to the Halifax region and more jobs to Nova Scotians.

“From an ecological and financial point of view, this plan would be a winner,” he said. “This is local LED technology from Amherst, and this plan will also be supporting local business and job creation.”

Parker said the plan is still in the making, but Nova Scotia Power would be largely responsible for the installation and maintenance of the project. Annie-Narie Curtis, director of retail operations at Nova Scotia Power, said the company is looking forward for more information.

“We need to see what the province brings forward at this point, but we are optimistic about any future project of this sort,” she said.

Curtis pointed to a pilot program that the province and Nova Scotia Power have been conducting since 2009 as a hint of the savings that LED lighting could bring. LED bulbs were installed in a number of street lights running along highways and byways.

“We estimate that energy savings would be in the range of 50 per cent,” she said.

Brian Vogel of the Ecology Action Centre says that he is pleased that the government is taking the initiative in fighting climate change and wasteful energy consumption. He said although Halifax is doing better than many cities, there was still room for improvement.

“We support all initiatives that will reduce energy needs and the environmental impact of energy needs of Nova Scotians,” said Vogel.

The Halifax Municipal government  purchased 2,000 LED bulbs in fall of 2010. They now light up  many of the city streets at night. However, there are many more bulbs to be replaced, and the Ministry of Energy says that the HRM would be a major part of any new energy plan put forward.

Parker said it has not yet been determined how the provincial and municipal governments will pay for the project.

He said a number of municipalities are interested in switching to more efficient light bulbs.

“We definitely want to make this attractive to all parties involved,” he said.