India’s street lights form a crucial component of the nation’s investment on lighting and road
safety. Launched in 2015, EESL’s Street Light National Programme (SNLP) has been
instrumental in replacing over 50 lakh street lights in over 500 cities in India, leading to 135
crore kWh of energy savings and cost saving of INR 742 crore every year.
While LED usage addresses the need for affordable energy-efficient infrastructure, the future-
readiness of India’s street lights also needed to be addressed, leading EESL to adopt “smart
light” deployment. These “smart lights” are connected through a web-based monitoring system
that enables remote operations and additional operational savings.
To bring in mass-scale transformation, EESL has adopted a unique strategy by joining hands with states, municipal bodies and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). Under the programme, EESL replaces the conventional street lights with LEDs at its own costs, with no upfront investment by the municipalities, thereby making their adoption even more attractive.
Over a period, EESL is repaid through the consequent reduction in energy and maintenance cost of the municipality. A seven-year contract with the local bodies guarantees a minimum energy saving of typically 50% and provides free replacements and maintenance of lights at no additional cost to the civic partners.
EESL’s business model has enabled a new paradigm that is attractive, scalable and has overcome barriers preventing the replacement of street lights. For instance, the Centralised Control and Monitoring System (CCMS) for remote operation and supervising has mitigated the lack of monitoring mechanism and warranties against technical defects.
By 2019, SLNP aims to replace all the 1.34 crore conventional street lights in India. This ambitious goal will make a tremendous difference, enabling peak demand reduction of 500 MW, annual energy savings of 190 crore kWh, and reduction in 15 lakh tons of CO2.