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Public housing estates to get energy-efficient lights


The government is installing energy-efficient light fittings in public housing estates.

Work started this month and will continue until September 2015, when all the 142 estates’ public areas are expected to have the new lights.

The fittings would save 33.11 million kWh of energy and reduce emissions by 23,179 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, said Ho Wing-ip, a chief manager in the Housing Department.

Ho said one million light fittings would be replaced. Each would lead to an annual saving of HK$47 in power charges.

“Replacing each light fitting is basically the same as planting one tall tree” in terms of reducing carbon dioxide, he said.

Each light costs HK$260 – HK$60 more than an old one – and has a life expectancy of 5-1/2 years.

The lights have electronic ballasts, which enhance their energy efficiency, Ho said, compared with the traditional electromagnetic ballasts.

“The only thing that needs to be changed after 5-1/2 years would be the electronic ballast inside. The rest of the light can be reused,” he said.

The ballasts cost HK$130 each – HK$100 more than electromagnetic ones.

Ho said the old light fittings would be dismantled and their parts would be recycled.

Public housing estates with older light fittings were slated to have their lights replaced first, he said.

The first stage involves 50 estates and will cost HK$260 million. Work is already being done at Oi Man Estate. Lok Fu, Tai Wo Hau, Kwai Shing West and Kwai Shing East estates are among those scheduled next.

LED light fittings were another energy-efficient option, but they cost more, Ho said. An LED light costs about HK$800 to HK$1,000 and is very sensitive to heat.

“LED lights would burn out or grow dim after being exposed to the sun’s heat for too long. This is also why we chose not to use them.”

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