"Agenda Item 26


MEETING OF DUN LAOGHAIRE RATHDOWN COUNTY COUNCIL
11 FEBRUARY 2008

 

EARTH HOUR 2008

Motion: Councillor C. Smyth


"That this Council recognizes the need for action on global warming and the need to conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions and also the need to reduce light pollution of our night skies.

That Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Council will support Earth Hour 2008
(www.earthhour.org) by turning off all non-essential lights controlled by the Council from 9 to 10 PM on 29 March 2008 to support a collective world-wide effort to show the difference that can be made by this initiative and to raise public awareness of the need to use less energy.

Requests that the County Manager to take all possible steps to implement the turning off of all non essential lights in its control as part of Earth Hour 2008 Will write to the local Chamber of Commerce and business community to lend their support to this initiative.

And that the County Manager will make a statement on the matter."


Report:

The Council's public lighting network is supplied by electricity through an overhead ESB Network and through an underground cable network. In both cases, the electricity is present 24 hours per day. Each public lighting lantern has its own individual photoelectric cell that is activated at dusk. Through activation of internal contacts, the electrical paths to the lighting lamps are completed and the light comes on.

It is not possible to disconnect the electricity particularly with respect to the overhead network. In this case, the network is an ESB distribution system that supplies households, offices, etc. and public lighting is just an adjunct. The underground network is linked through minipillars to the ESB system. To disconnect the supply would require the opening of every public lighting minipillar and removal of the fuses etc. As this is contrary to public safety, compromises public security with political, social, legal, Garda consequences, is electrically unsound and impractical and financially prohibitive.

The Council is well aware of the need to control energy usage and costs in Public Lighting. This is done through the usage of low wattage, high light output lanterns that are available from Manufacturers. The latter are sensitive to political demands. Through their research laboratories new lighting products are brought to market. Presently, compact fluorescent lamps and low wattage metal halide lanterns are newly available. The Council has purchased some hundreds of these for installation in areas with aged equipment. It is in this manner that energy usage and costs, light pollution through internal lantern optics, glare (both discomfort and disability) to the motorist and cyclist and carbon footprint etc. are kept within acceptable international standards and levels.

In relation to the Council Buildings

"The site advocates that "without" violating their Health & Safety protocols or comprising their night time security, participating organisations should switch off as much of their lighting (and other electrical loads) as possible to reduce their carbon footprint."

The Council is subscribing to this practice.

Contact: Brendan Elliott, Senior Executive Engineer, Transportation Department

Rita Flynn, Senior Executive Officer, Corporate Services"

 

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