Adaptive LED street lighting

We have published a bulletin that sets out the conditions required for granting temporary permission to install and use light-emitting diode (LED) street lights with adaptive controls without approval, verification and sealing of their measurement components. A temporary permission may be granted under the authority of subsection 9(2) of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act.

What you need to know about adaptive LED street lighting

What is the difference between flat rate street lighting and adaptive LED street lighting?

Typically, municipalities use flat rate street lighting (using light bulbs) based on the power rating of the bulbs (watts) and hours of darkness. This means the street lights are turned on and off at predetermined times and therefore energy consumption and costs can be calculated in advance.

Adaptive control technology enables a lighting device to modify its operation to achieve the best possible efficiency in order to save energy. In the case of LED street lighting, adaptive control technology allows the lights to be dimmed or enhanced based on varying lighting conditions (such as stormy conditions) and frequency of street use, or shut off and turned on at any predetermined time. The use of this technology is an important step in reducing energy consumption and improving the safety of Canada's streets.

What are the benefits of switching from traditional street lighting to adaptive LED street lighting?

Energy savings

LED street lights consume less energy, resulting in energy savings. With adaptive control technology, lighting can be dimmed, enhanced or shut off and turned on at any predetermined interval or condition. The lighting increases or decreases based on movement on the roads and surrounding areas detected by the device's sensors. Additionally, the time it takes for LED street lights to turn on is much shorter than for traditional street lights.

Reduced maintenance costs

Traditional light bulbs last from 4 to 5 years. LED street lights do not use bulbs and incorporate electricity measurement components that are more reliable and extend the life of the lights, resulting in lower maintenance and replacement costs.

How do we monitor adaptive LED street lights?

An approved and certified measurement system is integral to accurate and reliable measurement of electricity. The Electricity and Gas Inspection Act and regulations require that we approve and verify at prescribed intervals measuring devices used to determine a fee for electricity consumption. This helps protect consumers and municipalities against loss due to inaccurate measurement or unfair practices.

A municipality or utility must receive temporary permission from Measurement Canada to use adaptive LED street lighting controls without approval or verification of their energy measuring components (processors, sensors, transmitters).

Once the permission is granted, the adaptive controls can be used to measure, register and transmit energy data to remote receivers in the municipality's or utility's central management system in order to establish the basis of a charge for electricity consumption (that is, for billing purposes).

What is our role with respect to adaptive LED street lighting?

Our mandate is to protect the right of electricity utility customers, including municipalities, to accurate and reliable measurement when they are charged for electricity consumption based on measurement.

To fully benefit from energy and cost savings of using LED street lights, it is necessary to ensure the electricity they consume is measured accurately. However, the typical design of measurement components used in adaptive LED street lighting generally does not comply with existing Measurement Canada technical specifications because the amount of electricity consumed is not determined by a register, like the one you see on a residential electricity meter, but is instead determined by data transmitted to a utility's or municipality's central management system and converted to kilowatt hours consumed. For this reason, we are granting temporary permission to utilities or municipalities to install and use adaptive controls without the required approval, verification and sealing of their measurement components.

Electricity utilities and municipalities may reach out to us when they are looking to obtain measurement data from adaptive controls for generating a bill or invoice.

What are the requirements for granting temporary permission?

The bulletin published on our Internet site set outs the requirements for granting a permission.

A utility or municipality can apply for temporary permission to use adaptive LED street lighting without approval and verification of their measuring components (processors, sensors, transmitters). However, before applying, they must obtain written consent from the end user of the street lighting equipment.

We will consider applications for new adaptive LED street lighting projects and existing projects completed before the bulletin was issued.

We will assess compliance with all the requirements set out in the bulletin before granting a temporary permission. Once granted, the permission is valid for up to five (5) years. Within this period, we reserve the right to review any permission granted should information come to light that would warrant our intervention. After this period, we will review the application in consideration of any new information, including possible national and international standards.

Failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions of the permission may result in the permission being revoked in accordance with subsection 11(1) of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act.

We may review the bulletin periodically to evaluate its effectiveness and adequacy, or to determine if modifications are needed.

Utilities or municipalities must apply in writing to the appropriate Measurement Canada regional office.

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