Staff reporter THE introduction of energy-saving systems into street lighting on the Balearic Islands will allow town councils to reduce power consumption by at least 15 to 20 percent on an annual basis. Resulting savings would be in the region of 1.26 million euros a year. Jose Juan Cardona, regional Energy Minister, presented a book entitled “Street Lighting and Energy Efficiency”. The publication reveals that town councils spend some 6.7 million euros a year on public lighting outside the boundaries of their localities. The study confirms that local government would have to make an investment of 3.5 million euros to introduce energy-saving systems into street lighting infrastructure, a quantity that could be amortised within as little as three years, thanks to savings in electricity bills. The Ministry has had published some one thousand copies of the book, which estimates that town councils use some 75 million kilowatt hours (KWh) per year on public street lighting (the sector that requires the highest power supply), at an annual cost of 6.7 million euros. Jaime Sureda, an energy director, alleged that when such energy-saving systems are in place, town councils will be able to save some 14'000'000 kilowatt hours each year, the equivalent of 1.26 million euros. As well as the saving in energy and finance implied in the use of these methods, mention should be made of the positive environmental impact because some 13'000 tonnes less of carbon dioxide will be emitted each year. The effect of “electric light contamination” in the atmosphere will also be reduced. This pollutant factor is one reason why the sky can't be clearly seen. Sureda went on to quote some of the actions that local councils could instigate in order to achieve better energy savings. One recourse is to change the present mercury steam lamps for ones using high pressure sodium steam. The latter use half the power whilst giving the same level of illumination. He also made reference to the implementation of systems which reduce the flow of energy. These could most usefully be put into practice in street lighting where light intensity could be kept at a minimum during the early hours of the morning when social and professional activity is at its lowest. Another of the options is to opt for lighting systems that aren't unnecessarily bright and which are more efficiently designed. Palma alone absorbs 80 percent of electricity consumed in the Islands.