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11 July 2007


Toronto joins LED City initiative

Toronto is to be the first Canadian city to join Raleigh, NC, USA in the ‘LED City’ initiative, aiming to install LED lighting city-wide throughout its infrastructure, according to an announcement by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) through its ‘greenTbiz’ energy conservation and environmental program.

The LED City program was launched in February by City of Raleigh officials and LED maker Cree Inc of Durham, NC. It aims to create a community of cities committed to the evaluation, deployment and promotion of LED lighting in city infrastructure applications. Member cities will share their experiences with LED lighting trials and deployment to foster the creation and adoption of best practices for LED lighting. In turn, the collaboration is expected to increase awareness of LED lighting solutions and accelerate the deployment of LED lighting.

TABIA says it will evaluate, deploy and promote the use of LEDs across multiple lighting applications. In the coming months, LEDs will appear throughout parks, parking garages and in architectural lighting.

TABIA adds that, over the past four years, Toronto has been a center for LED consumer education and an early adopter of LED lighting, demonstrating the advantages of LEDs to residents and businesses. In partnership with the local electricity utility, an exchange program has enabled consumers to swap their old incandescent holiday lights for new LED holiday lights (with TABIA participating in developing the ENERGY STAR qualification for LED holiday lights). A complete turnkey retail store installation has replaced halogen MR16 track lighting with MR16 LED retrofit products. Also, LED streetlights have been installed in the city’s Exhibition Place. Meanwhile, Toronto is already just about to convert the CN Tower lighting to LED lighting (consuming 60% less energy than the tower’s lighting in the 1990s). Other current and planned LED projects include solar-powered LED lights in a park and LED lighting in a public parking garage.

Just converting the Toronto’s 160,000 streetlights to LEDs should save about $6m a year in electricity costs, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 18,000 tonnes, it is estimated.

The commitment to the LED City initiative shows support for the Canadian legislative agenda focused on energy efficiency, claims TABIA, as well as Toronto’s participation in the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative to accelerate greenhouse-gas emissions reductions and slow global warming.

“LED lighting enables cities such as Raleigh and Toronto to save energy, preserve the environment and save our taxpayers money,” adds Raleigh’s mayor Charles Meeker.

“Toronto and Raleigh understand how important it is to set the pace for a new generation of energy-conscious citizens and government leaders,” says Cree’s chairman and CEO Chuck Swoboda. “LED technology is clearly making progress towards widespread adoption for government, commercial and residential applications.”

See related item:

Cree and Raleigh launch ‘LED City’ municipal lighting initiative

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