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Buenos Aires achieves 50 percent energy savings through streetlight retrofit with Signify

ICLEI, in partnership with Signify, previously Philips Lighting, has released a case study featuring the 91,000 LED (light emitting diode) retrofit project conducted by the City of Buenos Aires. The project involved a large-scale switch to LED street lighting, which resulted in energy savings of almost 50 percent along, with substantial reductions in carbon emissions and operating costs. According to the study, the city expects to recoup the up-front investment in just five to six years.

This case study, published to coincide with the Global Climate Action Summit, is part of a series of lighting-related “solutions” featuring guidance documents and good practice examples for improving street lighting effectiveness and sustainability for public lighting. It is freely accessible to local governments on the Solutions Gateway, a free digital platform implemented by ICLEI and UN-Habitat with good practices and case studies to help cities, towns and regions develop sustainably. 

This study highlights that since lighting upgrades offer substantial economic, environmental and social benefits for cities, along with with affordable financing solutions and short pay-back times, they are a good option for communities of every size.

The study has  also identified many benefits beyond energy savings. With the remote sensing and control capabilities of smart LED lighting systems, for example, local governments can reduce operating costs through precise control of light levels and instantly respond to malfunctions. The intelligent infrastructure that supports an LED retrofit can also be adapted to support other smart-city systems such as dynamic traffic control.

The Buenos Aires case study reveals substantial replication potential for cities around the world and ICLEI demonstrates these benefits in concrete terms and invites implementers to explore LED lighting solutions for their communities. ICLEI and Signify will publish four thematic solutions on urban lighting. These solutions will include guidance on: retrofits and financing, smart systems, policy and procurement. All studies will be available on the Solutions Gateway. 

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