Renovating outdoor lighting: funding assistance

octobre 2021

Agence pour l’Environnement et la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME)

The subject of many economic, political and environmental issues, outdoor lighting, and in particular its management in public spaces, is now a competence in its own right. For the past fifteen years, the price of electricity has been rising steadily, putting a strain on local authorities’ budgets, which in France amount to 1 billion euros per year. With an ageing and energy-intensive lighting stock, the territories have been addressing the issue for several years in order to limit consumption and therefore energy expenditure. Some have implemented coherent and ambitious renovation programmes on their own or on an inter-municipal scale. Despite the 500 million euros of annual investments made by local authorities to renew and modernise their public lighting systems, consumption remains high and the efforts made must be increased. Public lighting is now at the heart of the expectations of citizens, who are increasingly concerned about the way in which the city is administered, but also increasingly involved in environmental protection. Public lighting is a source of light pollution that contributes to the fragmentation of natural habitats. Intelligent management of lighting is therefore essential. The technological tools for this management already exist.

In addition, new needs are emerging in our territories: video protection, wifi terminals, electric vehicle charging stations, etc. Lighting infrastructures are increasingly in demand and should eventually become one of the supports for pooling equipment related to these new needs.

This is why it is becoming urgent to accelerate the renovation of the network and to make it communicative with a view to the development and planning of future intelligent territories. Public lighting is one of the major players in the ecological transition and a lever for action to limit light pollution and energy consumption. This guide published by ADEME should enable readers to gain a better understanding of the public lighting stock, to gain a better understanding of the issues at stake and to become players in its transformation.

À télécharger : ademe-eclairage-exterieur-2021.pdf (3,9 Mio)

A. Energy saving certificates (CEE)

Energy saving certificates can provide financial assistance to project owners for the renovation of their lighting installations. The EEC scheme is based on an obligation for energy suppliers to make energy savings. These savings are expressed in cumulative discounted kWh (cumac): cumulative discounted kWh saved over the conventional lifetime of an item of equipment and corrected by a discounting coefficient. Approximately 300 standardised operation sheets, i.e. actions for which the expected savings have been pre-calculated, are identified. This is a directory of the best available technologies or practices, in all energy uses and all sectors of activity.

For outdoor lighting, the standardised operation sheets are as follows:

The proof of the energy saving work carried out is of interest to energy suppliers (or their representatives), who are required by the State to contribute to the energy transition by encouraging building owners to carry out renovations. It can be negotiated in the framework of a private contract and thus contribute to the financing of the investment. The standardised sheets for lighting are likely to change frequently to keep pace with changes in the lighting market.

The current sheets can be consulted at the following address:

Up to now, municipalities or syndicates of municipalities or mixed associations with the status of AODE (energy distribution organising authority) are entitled to collect the TCCFE: it is then intended to finance work on the electricity distribution network but also to finance municipal public lighting operations. The AODEs may collect the TCCFE on behalf of member municipalities with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants, as well as those for which they were collecting this tax on their behalf on 31 December 2010.

They may also collect this tax on behalf of other municipalities with their agreement, provided that they pay back part of it to them. The rate of the TCCFE, set by each municipality via its municipal council, is approximately 8% of the consumption of users with a power rating of 250 kVa or less. However, it can vary between 0 and 8.5%.

C. Assistance funds

A contribution fund is the payment of a subsidy between an EPCI with its own tax status and its member municipalities or between an inter-municipal or mixed syndicate exercising the competence of organising authority for public electricity distribution (energy syndicate) and its members in order to finance the construction or operation of a facility.

In the case of EPCIs with their own tax status, the total amount of the assistance funds may not exceed the share of financing provided, excluding subsidies, by the recipient of the assistance fund (minimum participation rule).

In the case of energy associations, the total amount of the assistance funds may not exceed 75% of the cost (excluding tax) of the operation concerned.

The assistance funds may be used between the municipalities and the AODEs for operations to control the consumption of electricity in public lighting, such as the replacement of energy-guzzling luminaires or power reduction devices or total or partial extinction at times when lighting is not needed.

D. Bank and third-party financing

Major banking institutions committed to the energy transition are offering financing solutions for investments in the renovation of lighting installations. The Caisse des Dépôts is behind major programmes to facilitate energy renovation in local authorities. Energy performance contracts (CPE) are public/private partnerships associated with commitments to results. They often include the maintenance of the installations and offer possibilities of third-party financing for the investment. For local authorities, « intracting » type initiatives also provide financing solutions for renovation.

E. Leased lighting

Some companies, manufacturers or others, offer leasing solutions for lighting installations, with ongoing performance maintenance and the possibility of upgrading luminaires to improve the service provided by the lighting.


En savoir plus

  • Dépenses énergétiques des collectivités locales, ADEME, Caisse des Dépôts, FNCCR, AITF, CEP. 2019.

  • Guide de l’élu local et intercommunal. Éclairage public. FNCCR. 2021.

  • Publications de l’Association française de l’éclairage relatives à l’éclairage extérieur.

  • Trame noire - Méthodes d’élaboration et outils pour sa mise en œuvre, par Romain Sordello, Fabien Paquier et Aurélien Daloz. Publié par l’Office français de la biodiversité, mars 2021.

  • Annexe SSL : Solid State Lighting, Association internationale de l’énergie.

  • Les défis de l’éclairage public, par Roger Narboni, Concepto, et Fanny Guerard, responsable éclairage public, smart city et environnement, ville d’Asnières-sur-Seine. Territorial Éditions. 2021.