Bulawayo, Zimbabwe: ZDDT’s Research Officer, Wisdom Ndlovu, has compiled a comprehensive report on the advantages of Bulawayo's Local Government switching from incandescent street lights to Light Emitting Diodes (L.E.D) street lamps.
Wisdom Ndlovu, a student intern, is in his third year studying for a Bsc (Honours) Degree in Development Studies at Lupane State University.
The findings reveal that the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) can save ratepayers over $1.8 million per year by switching to the new technology.
This will enable Council to spend the savings elsewhere and improve service delivery.
BCC currently settles an annual electricity bill of nearly 2.9 million for street lighting.
The report further notes that the savings will escalate when Return on Investment is factored in.
LED lamps will reduce energy consumption by up to 88 percent.
Furthermore, the information contained in the report also established that the LED lights would not only benefit the city financially, but the LED lamps also have environmental benefits.
It ascertains that the new innovation emits less hazardous chemicals and environmentally unfriendly substances such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide ultra violet rays particularly in the generation of electricity.
These substances, "can damage eyes and skin cells after prolonged exposure".
Ndlovu explains that:
"The research sought to reveal the actual amount of energy and costs that the Bulawayo City Council will save by replacing traditional light bulbs with the LEDs.
"During the course of the assignment research, I worked with very cooperative BCC Engineers and personnel from the BCC lighting workshops as well as Alternative Energy Consultants a company from Harare.
"The research revealed the total number of lamps in Bulawayo, current costs of electricity on lighting (annually) and the total energy consumed by the traditional street lamps.
"Data was then compared to with LED estimates and results were interpreted on the report which took about a month to complete."