The government should provide a grant to local authorities to convert street lights to LEDs. That was the view expressed this week by Ennis County Council candidate Cathal O’Reilly.
O’Reilly, who is running for Sinn Féin said he has already spoken to his Dáil colleagues about raising the matter in the Dáil and lobbying the government on his proposals.
Mr. O’Reilly explained, “LEDs last longer, use far less electricity and can be dimmed when ambient light increases. Council officials have been working on this but I would like to see the conversion process speeded up. The problem is it’s expensive to replace the older equipment, but it’s a once off expense that pays for itself in energy savings. That’s why I propose a grant system from central government to start the process and install the first phase of LEDs. The money saved from the first phase can be re-invested into phase two and so on. When the conversion is complete, we will be making huge savings which can be invested in better services for our people”.
“Such grants are already in place in other countries such as the USA where cities all across the country have installed LEDs as a result. Large instalations have also taken place in cities in Canada, Australia, Britain, Croatia, Bulgaria, India and many others.
I have spoken to my Dáil colleagues about having this raised in the Dáil and pressuring the government. We need more ambitious, long term thinking from government on this”.
“We have to reduce our carbon footprint not just for environmental reasons but also because we face potential fines from the EU if we fail to do so. I want to see funding spent on measures which will save money and the environment rather than paid out in fines” he said.