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City of Vantaa (Finland)

LED tubes make schools brighter and save electricity in Vantaa LED tubes play an important role in generating the energy savings needed for financing energy-saving investments in 14 schools and other public buildings in Vantaa. The energy savings from the City of Vantaa’s award-winning ESCO project are worth more than €200,000 every year. In an ESCO project, the investment is paid for with the energy savings generated by the project; in other words, the ESCO system means making public purchases that do not cost anything. Back in 2012, when the project in Vantaa was started, the reception of LED lighting was sometimes prejudiced, and not everyone’s ideas were up to date.

“It is true that the ESCO procurement process meant a lot of work, but the end result was exactly like we wanted it to be,” project manager and energy efficiency specialist Marita Tamminen of the City of Vantaa summarizes now.

Just ordinary municipality-owned buildings At the moment, the 14-building, 83,000-square metre, 365,000-cubic metre project has been completed in terms of lighting in three buildings: the Ilola School, Tikkurila Upper Secondary and the Vocational College Varia. The next building to switch to LED lights is the Tikkurila Library. Marita Tamminen says that the buildings were selected for the project on the basis of their average specific consumption.

“They are typical municipality-owned buildings: schools, day care centres, sports halls, libraries and a multipurpose centre.”

All in all, the City of Vantaa has 783 buildings with a total of 700,000 square metres and three million cubic metres – that is, a wealth of new potential for saving energy. As a by-product of the project, LED tubes have been adopted on a small scale at the City’s Real Estate Centre, where Marita Tamminen works.

“During the National Energy Awareness Week last October, our premises were fitted with about 200 of Valtavalo’s LED tubes, and they have worked perfectly. Now we have more light but consume less energy,” she says.

LED tubes had a key role in the project After tendering, Schneider Electric Buildings Finland Oy was selected to deliver the ESCO project. Project manager Petri Tuominen says that compared to the existing solution, the Valtavalo G3 LED tubes use between 50% and 90% less energy, depending on the type and age of the reference lamp.

“This is another example of a project where it was possible to replace fluorescent tubes with LED tubes without purchasing new lamp bodies. And in the future, more money can be saved with installation and maintenance costs, because the service life of a LED tube typically exceeds that of a fluorescent tube by three to five times. Another point to be kept in mind is that today’s LED tubes are more than 95% recyclable,” Tuominen says.

The total investment of the project amounts to €1.5 million, and LED tubes account for a major share in that figure, says Petri Tuominen.

“Just to think about the sheer number of the tubes, which is more than 5,000. And by looking at savings calculations, we can tell that LED tubes account for about one in every four euro saved as electricity and thermal energy.”

No more prejudice CEO Markku Laatikainen of Valtavalo Ltd., the Oulu and Kajaani-based manufacturer of the LED tubes, is happy that there is less and less prejudice against LED lights.

“Earlier, there were reservations against LED lights and tubes also in Vantaa, but now the technology is mature enough for large-scale adoption just about anywhere,” Laatikainen says.

Valtavalo, which brought the manufacturing of LED tubes back from China to its robotic production line in Kajaani, has rapidly conquered international markets. The Vantaa project also helped another company based in north-eastern Finland, Paikallis-Sähkö in Kajaani, to expand its markets with Valtavalo, as it was responsible for the LED installations in Vantaa. With its new special expertise area, the installation of LED tubes, Paikallis-Sähkö is now expanding its operations to southern Finland.