An EPC project for the streetlight management in Santander which combines energy savings (up to 80%) and environmental improvements (11,000TonsCO2 reduction)
One of the main aims of the city council is to improve the quality of life of citizens, using technology to provide more efficient urban services. As first step, an exhaustive analysis of all public lighting was carried out which enabled to elaborate a plan to improve the city’s energy efficiency as well as to set up a public tender to assign an ESCO company to upgrade and maintain the street lighting infrastructure, and also, optimise its management, while ensuring security.
ELECNOR presented the best technical proposal and energy savings, up to 80%, as well as the best environmental improvement (11,000TonsCO2). According to the 15-years EPC contract, ESCO will invest €11m not only to upgrade over almost 23,000 lighting points in Santander (LED technology), but also to renew more than 300 control panel boxes and to implement point-to-point remote monitoring & control systems. All data retrieved by this system is being integrated into the Smart City Platform, enabling the development of the integrated management of the city.
Finally, a communication plan has been carried out to raise citizens’ awareness of the main goals of the project, such as the improvement of energy efficiency as well as the safety & comfort of roads and pedestrians, and the reduction of light pollution and costs. Several communication channels have been used to disseminate this initiative, such as meetings with neighbours, videos, folded sheets & posters, and an email for questions is also available.

Resources needed

•Political support is a key factor.
•Investment-grade energy audit and Streetlight director plan (EEEF, €450K).
•Elaboration of tender documents (technical & administrative bids) and evaluation of proposals (municipal staff).
•Implementation of the Streetlight project (ELECNOR, €11m).

Evidence of success

This project combines economic and energy savings (up to 80%) and environmental improvement by reducing emissions (11,000Tons of CO2), as well as improving light pollution. As first step an exhaustive energy audit is essential.
The main investment is borne by the ESCO, while the municipality pays the energy supply, resulting in renewed infrastructure and an improved management of the service without any quality loss. Besides, Streetlight data is being integrated into the Smart City Platform.

Difficulties encountered

The mayor’s commitment is essential, as he will communicate the scope of the project and foster municipal staff engagement, requesting collaboration of each municipal services and at different levels.
Additionally, citizens shall be properly informed about the main benefits the project.

Potential for learning or transfer

•Political support is essential for the success of such project.
•An energy audit is a must to know the real status of the public infrastructure, being the basis for preparing Street lighting Director Plan and tender documents.
•Consult urban planning for future trends in urban growth.
•Tender documents shall include as much details as possible to clarify not only requirements but also responsibilities and deadlines.
•Technological requirement shall be considered as key factor, followed by the economic one (criteria in the evaluation of proposals).
•Establishment of accurate levels of lux in each area of the city, ensuring that technology is not a restricting factor.
•Avoid technologies that do not provide proved technical guarantees.
•Electricity supply contract might be kept by the City Council
•Considering point to point regulation not only as an energy management system but also as data source, which feeds the smart city platform to develop the integrated management.

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Main institution
Santander City Council
Cantabria, Spain (España)
Start Date
December 2012
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Ronan Gingles

Cork City Council