LED tubes play an important role when savings in energy consumption are used to finance investment in energy-efficiency in 14 public properties including schools in Vantaa, Finland. The City of Vantaa’s prize-winning ESCO project saves over 200,000 euros worth of energy annually.

In the ESCO project, energy savings pay for all investments required by the project; in other words, the ESCO system helps to provide free public procurement.

The project was launched in 2012 in Vantaa. At the time, there was still prejudice against LED lighting and some people’s knowledge of it was not up to date.

“Even though the ESCO procurement process was cumbersome, the end result was as originally planned,” says Marita Tamminen, the project manager and an energy efficiency expert at the City of Vantaa.

Typical municipal real estate stock

So far, the lighting part of the project has been completed in three of the 14 properties, totalling 83,000 m2 and 365,000 m3: Ilola school, Tikkurila upper secondary school and Varia vocational college. The next property to switch over to LED lighting will be Tikkurila Library.

According to Tamminen, the properties were selected for the project based on their average specific consumption.

“They are typical buildings belonging to the real estate stock of municipalities: schools, day-care centres, sports facilities, libraries and a multipurpose property.”

All in all, the City of Vantaa owns 783 buildings of a combined 700,000 m2 and 3 million m3; in other words, there is still more energy-saving potential.

LEDs have been introduced alongside the project on a small scale at Marita Tamminen’s workplace, the Real Estate Department.

Last October, during an energy-saving week, approximately 200 LED tubes manufactured by Valtavalo were installed in our offices, and they have worked flawlessly. There was more light and energy was saved,” she says.

LED tubes play an important role in the project

Schneider Electric Buildings Finland Ltd. was selected as the provider of the ESCO project after competitive tendering. Petri Tuominen, the project manager, says that compared with the old solution, energy savings of 50–90% are achieved with Valtavalo’s G3 LED tubes, depending on the type and age of the of the old light source.

In this project, fluorescent lights were easily replaced with LED tubes without having to renew the lighting fixture frames. Additional savings are achieved in installation and maintenance costs, since the life cycle is typically 3–5 times longer than with fluorescent lights. Moreover, the recyclability rate of LED tubes is currently very high – over 95 per cent,” says Tuominen.

According to him, LED tubes accounted for a significant part of the 1.5-million-euro project..

This means over 5,000 LED tubes. And, when proportioned with savings projections, approximately one quarter of electricity and thermal energy savings in euros comes from LED tubes.”

Prejudices have dissipated

Markku Laatikainen, CEO of the LED tube provider Valtavalo Oy located in Oulu and Kajaani, is happy about the reduced prejudice against LED lighting.

LED lights and tubes have raised doubts in Vantaa on previous occasions, but now this technology is ripe for even more implementations everywhere”, says Laatikainen.

Valtavalo, which a couple of years ago moved the production of LED tubes from China to an automated production line in Kajaani, has been internationalising rapidly.

In the wake of Valtavalo’s project in Vantaa, the Kajaani-based Paikallis-Sähkö, which is installing the LEDs, will get to expand its market from Kainuu to Vantaa.

Paikallis-Sähkö is expanding its operations as an LED tube installation specialist and is now set to conquer southern Finland.