Between 2002 and 2005, the City of Calgary undertook a complete retrofit of approximately 37,500 residential streetlights, switching to lower-wattage EnviroSmart fixtures from the dropped lens fixtures. The City was the first in North America to undertake such a retrofit. Key benefits of EnviroSmart Streetlights include:

(1) Energy and money savings. The new flat lens fixtures use less energy, which helps to keep operating costs down. Cost savings from reduced energy consumption alone are estimated at $1.7 million per year, while energy savings are estimated at 25,000 MWh. By 2011 or 2012, it is estimated The City will regain the cost of installing the new fixtures from energy savings.

(2) Greenhouse gas reductions. Using less electricity reduces the emissions produced by gas and coal-burning generators.

(3) Glare reduction. Glare from streetlights is significantly reduced with the new flat lens streetlight fixtures, increasing visibility by directing light onto the roadway and preventing it from shining into the eyes of motorists.

(4) Light pollution reduction. New ways of designing and providing streetlighting have been developed in the last several years. The City is committed to reducing our level of light pollution by using the most efficient streetlight fixtures and employing the latest design methods.

Maintaining a safe level of lighting. Streetlighting on residential and collector roads will continue to meet minimum Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) guidelines.

Objectives and beneficiaries

Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada, located in the south of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains. It is the third largest civic municipality, by population in Canada. As of the 2007 civic census, Calgary’s population was 1,019,942. The City of Calgary’s Corporate ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) was designed to implement its Environmental Policy. In addition, EMS supports internal policies like: Sustainable Building policy; Municipal Development plan; Green Procurement Policy; Climate Change Policy; Calgary Transportation Plan; Sustainable Suburbs and Open Space Plan.

Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation

Before the retrofit, Calgary streetlighting levels were among the highest in North America. The city of Calgary is achieving significant electricity savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the EnviroSmart Retrofit Project. Most of Calgary’s residential streetlights are being changed from old cobra head fixtures to more energy-efficient flatheads lenses. Streetlight wattage is being reduced from 200W to 100W on residential local roads and from 250W to 150W on collector roads.
In June 2000, the city’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions Abatement Action Plan called for a target reduction from street lighting of 10,000 tonnes by the year 2012. This is 6% below the 1990 base year. Since 2005, Co2 emissions have been reduced by 16,000 tonnes, putting the city well ahead of its target.