Follow us on: 

Vietnamese cities embrace energy-efficient public lighting

Print Email


Increasing energy efficiency is central to the efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help curb climate change in the country. The Vietnam Energy Efficient Public Lighting is an ambitious US$15 million plan, funded by the Global Environment Facility, UNDP, central and local government, and the private sector, to install and promote the use of energy efficient lighting across the country. Lighting accounts for 25 percent of all electricity consumed in Viet Nam.

Cities across Viet Nam are starting to embrace green and energy-efficient street lighting as they struggle with rising electricity costs and rapid urban growth. Using energy-efficient lighting helps
save power, reduces carbon emissions and cuts electricity costs.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Bac Kinh, senior technical advisor of the Vietnam Energy Efficient Public Lighting (VEEPL) project, which is supported by UNDP,says that in the past most Vietnamese cities did not pay attention to public lighting. “[However,] cities across the country have come to realize that efficient public lighting reflects the level of development and affects the quality of life significantly,” Dr. Kinh explains.

VEEPL is an ambitious and comprehensive US$15 million plan, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP, central and local government agencies and the private sector,to install and promote the use of energy efficient lighting in streets, schools and hospitals across the country. Lighting accounts for 25 percent of all electricity consumed in Viet Nam, and public lighting about a tenth of that.

Since 2006, Ho Chi Minh City has made considerable efforts to lower its energy consumption by prohibiting the installation of new energy intense lamps and bulbs and replacing traditional lighting devices with more energyefficient ones.

For example, according to statistics from the HCMC Public Lighting Company, the city had about 230,000 light posts at the end of 2006. A year later, with technical support from VEEPL experts, the company piloted the use of bi-power ballasts. This allows the street lamp to emit more light during times of heavy traffic and reduces the amount of light and lowers the amount of energy used during less-congested hours. There are now about 30,000-40,000 lamps equipped with bipower ballasts in HCMC.

All of these efforts have helped to cut electricity consumption in the city. Each year, it is estimated that HCMC uses VND120 billion (approximately US$5.7 million) worth of electricity, including power for public lighting. Last year, however, the city managed to save 37.7 million kWh on public lighting, a reduction of over 40 percent.

In 2008, with technical support from UNDP, HCMC also established an automatic public lighting control center, which controls 12,000 lights in the city. According to Mr. Tran Trong Hue, director of the HCMC Public Lighting Company, technicians at the center can control the level of illumination according to traffic density. By adjusting the level of light electricity can be saved, estimated at VND10 billion annually, while also making it safe for drivers, especially at night time.

“This is certainly one of the most advanced technologies in public lighting, which means we are still assessing its effectiveness and whether we should expand it to the rest of the lighting system in the city,” Hue says.

Similar to HCMC, Quy Nhon, a central coastal city in Binh Dinh province, has managed to transform 30 kilometers of road using energy-saving lighting devices, installing more than 2,000 high-efficient lights. This saves the city an estimated 40,000kwh annually.

Do Dinh Phuong, director of Quy Nhon Public Lighting and Park Company, said in the past the city was only “burning” electricity, instead of “consuming” it.

City officials have also made efforts to incorporate efficient public lighting into urban planning. “We want to make sure that Quy Nhon’s public lighting system can cope with the rapid urbanization growth,” says Mr. Thai Ngoc Bich, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee.

More and more cities across Viet Nam are now keen to pilot the public lighting project and take advantage of the energy saving technologies. Change is also happening at the national level. The government recently introduced a new law on energy efficiency, as well as a decree on energy savings in public lighting and a national plan for public lighting over the next 15 years. Together,these efforts will help to lower energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions across Viet Nam.

Click here to download the PDF file of the story on public lighting in cities

Click here to download the PDF file of the story on public lighting in schools




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.