EM - August/September 2011 - (Page 16)

ESB Networks Ltd Aug/Sept 2011 www.esb.ie/em 16 Bike to work ESB Networks Ltd Page 18 ESB’S ROLE IN A CHANGING PUBLIC LIGHTING MARKET Joint ESB and Local Authority audit of a public lighting contractor. Public Lighting Demo on LA Training Course Demonstration of public-lighting work as part of a local authority training course. Installation of energy-efficient whit e lighting. Public Lighting Works during LVU: New public lighting equipment and Interface Unit installed as part of LVU Programme. IN thE OWNErShIP of the 34 city and county local authorities in Ireland there are approximately 350,000 public lights, comprising traffic route street lights, city, town and rural village lighting and one-off lights. About 50% of these are installed on ESB overhead network poles, which are supplied with electricity from ESB’s overhead networks. the remainder are public lighting columns supplied using underground cables. Public lights and other street installations such as traffic lights, bus shelters, and pedestrian crossings, make up what is termed the ‘un-metered supply’ (UMS) market for electricity. the UMS market for electricity was opened up to competition in July 2005. this has brought with it significant change in the public lighting landscape and ESB has a much changed role now. the un-metered market is so-called because individual metering is not required; the public light is regarded as a ‘predictable’ load with the electricity usage calculated on the basis of the fixed wattage of the bulbs and the number of lighting hours from dawn to dusk, with billing to each local authority customer made by their chosen energy supplier. the opening up of the public lighting market to competition presented a number of challenges to ESB and involved coming to terms with a whole range of issues, not least the require- ment to introduce a formal boundary between the ESB-owned overhead wires and the local authority-owned public lights. this is termed as the unbundling of the ESB LV distribution network from local authority public lighting assets. Following detailed consultations involving local authorities, ESB, energy suppliers and electrical contractors, the Commission for Energy regulation (CEr) issued a formal set of rules in April 2009 as to how the new public lighting market would operate. there are now three separate parties involved, each with their own distinct but complementary responsibilities. Local authorities can appoint and authorise their own public lighting contractors to carry out certain tasks on ESB’s overhead networks, provided work is organised and managed in accordance with a specific set of rules. the ownership boundary on the pole will be visible with the introduction of a new piece of electrical equipment in a white box. these public lighting interface units provide the electrical separation between ESB’s equipment and what is owned by the Local Authority. these new arrangements are now enshrined in a formal public lighting agreement and a detailed technical document - ESB requirements for Work on Public Lighting on ESB’s Network, which have been agreed and jointly implemented by ESB and the local authorities. the requirements specify who is responsible for carrying out work on poles and describes what contractors are permitted to do on ESB poles. It is important that there is co-ordination and co-operation at local level between ESB and each local authority for the different situations involving public lights such as network faults, disconnections and reconnections, network upgrades and alterations to ensure a quality service. this is especially significant where ESB-related work disturbs public lighting equipment, for example where there is a need to re-route ESB’s overhead network or where there is damage to poles and wires. training programmes for new contractors and local authority personnel has been devised by ESB Networks training with the first programmes delivered in the latter half of 2010. At this stage, a total of 20 new contractor personnel have received the one-week training course in the Networks training Centre in Portlaoise and more than 100 local authority personnel have received familiarisation and technical auditor training to equip them for their new responsibilities. Local authorities themselves are very intent on availing of the new market to realise the benefits of competition and achieve important cost savings, especially now given the severe pressures on local government funding. A number of them have already tendered into the new competitive market and awarded contracts to new contractors. Currently, there are three new public lighting contractors operating in the public lighting market along with the main provider - Airtricity Utility Solutions (AUS), who bought the public lighting business from ESB in late 2009. Local authorities are also strongly pursuing energy saving programmes by replacing older lamps with newer energy efficient equipment and are also using modern light-dimming technology. there is strict safety protocol to be followed before ESB permits a new contractor to carry out public lighting work on ESB’s overhead network. Each individual must first be assessed, approved and authorised by the local authority responsible for appointing them, including an assessment of their training. the contractor must use the required live-working tools and equipment, including a fully insulated hoist. Communication at local level forms a vital part of the relationship between contractors and ESB. In addition, contractors, local authorities and ESB are required to carry out their own safety audits on a regular basis. Some of these changes will be very visible and you may notice contractors working on public lights in your area. Public lighting contractors are required to use a similar hoist to those used by ESB and to wear the same type of safety equipment. Contractors working for individual local authorities are now fully responsible for all public lighting work. Generally, they can carry out this work without ESB involvement. however, there are some circumstances where contractors are not permitted to carry out certain works such as public lighting service connections/reconnections and must request ESB attendance. ESB is undertaking refurbishment of the low voltage distribution networks as part of the Pr3 capital investment programme (LVU/LVr). As it would be impossible to complete this work without disturbing public lighting equipment, ESB is required to transfer and replace, where necessary. ESB recovers the associated public lighting costs through a premium on each local authority distribution use of system (DUoS) charge. At this time of the year, faulty public lights are not as significant as later in the year. the majority of public lights are maintained by AUS and faults can be reported by using their call centre number, 1850 372 772. Some local authorities also have their own arrangements in place to facilitate the reporting of faults. n PUBLIC LIGHTING AGREEMENT BETWEEN ELECTRICITY SUPPLY BOARD AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES Public safety, involving electricity is, as always, a critical concern and priority of ESB and this can apply with public lights, even though responsibility rests with the local authorities. Where there are public lighting issues of serious concern, for example a public lighting column knockdown, potentially accompanied with exposed or fallen live wires, ESB Networks’ normal emergency number should be contacted on 1850 372 999 Over the coming few months, it is likely that more local authorities will award new public lighting tenders with the prospect of additional contractors requiring training provided by ESB and local authority approval. ESB will continue to have a very important role in this developing public lighting market. As part of ESB’s commitment, a public lighting implementation team, comprising Arthur Byrne and John Finnegan is in place to ensure local authorities and contractors ESB Requirements meet the challenges of this for evolving market. Work on Public Lighting on ESBÕ s Networks June 2010 JUNE 2010 Public Lighting Agreement Document and ESB Requirements Document. http://www.esb.ie/em

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EM - August/September 2011

EM - August/September 2011
In This Issue
Services & ESB Electric Ireland
ESB Networks Ltd
ESB Energy International
Health & Habitat

EM - August/September 2011