Transport Month: Cape’s traffic signals go green

Most of us forget how much electricity our cities use. This usage is most of the time not due to negligent activities, but vital services that makes the city function such as traffic signal lights, street lights and many others. So in light of  Transport Month 2012, the City of Cape Town has announced that it has completed the retrofitting of all of the City’s traffic signals with low-energy LED lights.

A total of 1 378 traffic intersections in the city have been retrofitted and will save 3 945MW hours of electricity per year(equating to 3 932 tonnes of carbon emissions), as LEDs use less than a fifth of the energy compared to the old incandescence bulbs. Not will this save electricity, but LEDs have a much longer life span too – save money for tax payers.

This announcement also comes at a time when the City of Cape Town has been short listed for The Wall Street Journal’s Most Innovative City of the Year award. Reason for Cape Town’s inclusion to the Most Innovative City of the Year award is due to technology, research and environmental protection programs, of which the retrofitting is one such program.

“The City has for some time been focussing on how it can save energy in its operations in order to reduce its environmental impact, improve resource efficiency and avoid excessive electricity costs – especially in light of Eskom’s tariff increases and South Africa’s electricity supply shortages.

Due to all these factors the City became a participant in the Department of Energy’s Municipal Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM) programme. The EEDSM programme is a grant fund disbursed to municipalities to implement energy efficient retrofits in municipal infrastructure.”

About Rouen Smit

Future actuary working at a company based in Cape Town. Love open water swimming. Love taking public transport and feeling the city. The Future’s Bright