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LED lighting at heart of greener Knesset in Israel

LED lighting and presence detection are playing their part in Israel's ambitious plan for the Knesset to be the greenest parliament building in the world

Israel’s Knesset wants to be the greenest parliament in the world and is busy installing LED lighting, solar photovoltaics, new air conditioning equipment and presence detectors to reduce energy consumption.

The Green Knesset project, which began in 2014 and is expected to complete in 2016, will see 13 approved and budgeted projects for saving energy and water, including the replacement of its inefficient lighting with LED technology.

The Knesset has invested NIS 7 million in all, and the savings that will come from the project are estimated at NIS 1.5 million a year. All of the projects that were approved are economically viable and the project should pay for itself within five years. The conservation initiatives will reduce the energy and gas consumption of the Knesset by approximately one third.

Lamps have been changed throughout the various parliament buildings: halogen bulbs will be replaced with LED lights and T8 fluorescent lamps have been swapped for T5s. T8 lamps in the parking garage will be replaced with LED lights.

The Operations Division has completed the installation of 606 presence detectors in every room of the Knesset. These detectors automatically turn off lighting and air conditioning after 30 minutes of absence from a room. However, the Knesset management still encourages its employees to turn off the lights and the air conditioning after use, to enhance energy efficiency.

“We want to be the greenest parliament in the world,” said Ronen Plot, director general of the Knesset. “There’s an economic benefit to this, and we want the rest of the country to take a bet on sustainability too. We’ll feel like we’ve reached our goal once other official buildings will have adopted similar practises to us.”

Picture: Noam Chen for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism