Corporate Energy Management

The Municipality has a mission to foster social, economic and environmental well-being by providing good government, desirable services and responsible stewardship and has committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

In 2013, North Cowichan Council approved a Corporate Energy Management Policy. This policy intends to serve as broad corporate guidance for the Municipality to develop, implement and review programs, procedures and initiatives to support corporate energy conservation and management.  The Energy Management Policy also establishes initial targets of reducing annual consumption of electricity and natural gas by 3.0% and liquid fuels by 1.0%.

 Corporate Energy Projects

The table below provides a summary of the major projects scheduled for completion under the Corporate Energy Management Program in 2015.

Electrical Reduction (kWh/year)
Natural Gas Reduction (GJ/year)
GHG Emissions Reduction (Tonnes CO2e)
Annual Costs Savings -Energy 
and O&M  ($)
Outside Funding
Agency Contributions ($)
Payback -Energy and Operational Savings (Years)
LED Street Lights (2016)
(567 lights)
230,00 0 5.7 46,700 43,336 2.7
Cowichan Aquatic Center (LED Lighting
& Misc.)
185,000 39 6.7 38,000 48,000 6.7
Fuller Lake Arena (HVAC, DDC & Flood water Aerator)
56,000 983 53.4 25,000 1,815 9.9
Emergency Services Buildings (Outdoor Lighting and Heating)
60,564 133 8.5 16,785 Agreement Pending 4.5

LED Streetlights FAQ's


Why is the Municipality switching to LED streetlights?

Replacing North Cowichan's 650 ornamental streetlights will result in 4,080,000 kWh of energy savings over the expected life of the LED fixture (15+ years). LED fixtures are projected to last much longer than the traditional High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures therefore the operational and maintenance savings are a significant benefit to the Municipality. 

Projected savings of $743,000 are expected when operational and energy savings are combined over the minimum life expectancy of the fixture. This results in a payback of 5.2 years not including any outside funding assistance which we may receive. North Cowichan will also reduce its corporate emissions by 6.8 tonnes of CO2e through the implementation of the entire project.

What is an LED?

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are semiconductor devices that emit light when an electric current passes through them. They are designed for better control over the electrical current making them have low current, heat and voltage. This results in longer lifespan and lower operational costs in addition to significant energy savings for the Municipality.

Which lights will be changed to LED lights (BC Hydro owned Vs. Municipality Owned)?

Only "ornamental lights" which are owned by the Municipality will be retrofitted. Any streetlights which are mounted on a wooden pole are owned by BC Hydro and will not be replaced under the current project. Initially, in 2016, we are looking to change over 117 ornamental lights in the Trillium Terrace area as well as the Kingsview Road area. The remaining ornamental streetlights are scheduled to be replaced later in the year. 

How much energy will the Municipality save in comparison to the current High Pressure Sodium fixtures?

The Municipality will save approximately 272,000 kWh a year once all the ornamental lights have been replaced. That’s enough power to run 24.7 average homes each year (11,000 kWh / home).

How much money will it cost the Municipality to convert their current street lights to LED’s?

The ornamental streetlight retrofit program is scheduled to occur in 2016. The first phase of the project will see the replacement of 117 lights at a cost of around $40,000. BC Hydro has provided an incentive of $11,000 for the implementation of this project.

Are the LED lights brighter?

LED lights offer more lumens per watt than standard High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights. This is one of the main reasons we see energy savings from converting HPS streetlights to LED. Lighting levels along roadways and sidewalks are not expected to be drastically different from the old fixtures. The new LED fixtures have more evenly distributed lighting which has the added benefit of less over-lighting onto private properties.

Are the LED lights a different colour than the existing lights?

LED lights come in various colours. Light colour is measured in temperature (Kelvin [K]). Colour temperatures over 5,000K are called cool colours (bluish white), while lower colour temperatures (2,700–3,000 K) are called warm colours (yellowish white through red).

Our current HPS lights are very “warm” and are rated around 2200K and appear very orange to the average eye.  The new LED fixtures are rated at 3000 K which is much warmer than most LED streetlights of the recent past.  The change in colour will be barely noticeable to the average eye. Overall the lights should be less intrusive compared to the old fixtures as they have better cut off along roads and walkways while providing more even lighting along the roadways and pedestrian areas.

What is being done with the old High Pressure Sodium Streetlights?

The old fixtures will be recycled as part of the installation contract.