Countrywide, Vietnam


In 2000, the United Nations Development Program approved the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Public Lighting Project (VEEPL) – an ambitious and comprehensive $15 m USD plan to install and promote the use of energy efficient lighting in streets, schools, and hospitals across the country. The investment has succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions by 8,300 tons CO2 annually in the first three regions – this will grow to 100,000 tons as the program rolls out nationally. Importantly VEEPL is setting up a sustainable long-term lighting industry that is generating local manufacturing, services, with jobs and expertise.

What is it?

The Vietnamese Energy Efficiency Public Lighting Project (VEEPL) was co-funded by the Vietnamese government, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The program covers the lighting of public sectors including streets, schools and hospitals, where the all costs from installation, operation, maintenance, and electricity are covered by the Government. VEEPL is aimed at making the public lighting market self-sustaining, by driving opportunities for financial savings for cities and towns, and greater profits for lighting manufacturers.

How does it work?

Public lighting in Vietnam has been characterized by low efficiency light sources housed within poorly designed luminaries and installed in inappropriate locations. For example, 85% of street lighting in Vietnam is provided by obsolete technology – either mercury or incandescent lamps) and installed without benefit of proper planning or engineering analysis. In addition, Vietnam’s existing market forces have not resulted in a high penetration of energy-efficient public lighting. VEEPL is working with the Government of Vietnam and local governments to develop public lighting policies that support the market forces to bring cities and towns to more efficient public lighting. It is removing market barriers by:

  • Establishing standards that define energy-efficient public lighting, and building policies;
  • Improving the opportunities for local manufacturers to produce energy efficient lighting;
  • Improving testing capabilities of the local lighting laboratories;
  • Setting up demonstrations of the benefits of energy efficient public lighting in cities and towns;
  • Educating the public about the benefits of energy efficient public lighting;
  • Providing accurate and current product performance information to purchasers;
  • Helping to make project financing available;
  • Its also getting private and public industry and stakeholders around the table to agree on minimum standards of energy efficiency in lighting.


VEEPL is based on voluntary initiatives that create financial benefits for participants. Cities and towns and other customers purchase public lighting in bulk from distributors and have access to current lists of qualifying manufacturers and products maintained by VEEPL.

Vietnam is working with VEEPL to provide local funding to kick-start manufacturing and service industries, including:

  1. Funding for public lighting products that have been qualified by VEEPL, and installed in public lighting systems using tools developed by VEEPL;
  2. Investment for Vietnamese lighting manufacturers to help them produce energy efficient products.
  3. The final, much smaller, part of local funding is in the form of in-kind contributions from various agencies of the Government of Vietnam, such as skilled government staff.

CO2 emissions reduction

  • Annual CO2 emission reductions are 8,300 tons CO2 (2004 – 2007)
  • Annual CO2 emission reductions are 99,000 tons CO2 (2010 – 2013)
  • By 2013, cumulative CO2 emission reductions are estimated to be 568 kTons

Energy efficiency

  • Annual energy efficiencies are 19,300,000 KWh (2005-2007)
  • Annual energy efficiencies 229 GWh (2010- 2013)
  • By 2013, cumulative energy efficiencies are estimated to be 1,321 GWh
Year Energy Usage (GWh)   Energy Savings (GWh)  
  Base Case VEEPL Case Annual Cumulative
2005 514.2 514.2 0 0
2006 595.3 594.8 0.5 0.5
2007 683.6 645.7 37.9 38.4
2008 785.9 708.6 77.3 115.7
2009 905.3 786.2 119.1d 234.7
2010 1,044.7 881.3 163.4 398.1
2011 1,207.9 997.0 210.9 609.0
2012 1,399.2 1,137.8 261.4 870.4
2013 1,623.7 1,309.5 314.2 1,184.5

Financial investment

Government: US$ 1,408,000
Private Sector: US$ 2,790,000
Local Governments: US$ 8,120,000
Full Projects costs: US$ 15,318,000
+ PDF-B (GEF): US$ 309,900
+ PDF-B (CO-FINANCING): US$ 65,000
Total Project Costs +PDF-B: US$ 15,692,900

Next steps

  • Develop policies for national and local governments on public lighting
  • Transfer information, tools and skills to public lighting stakeholders
  • Create an Energy Conservation Investment Fund for efficient public lighting
  • Organize public lighting stakeholders
  • Generate and disseminate information on efficient public lighting


The key challenge for a country such as Vietnam in rolling out energy efficiency lighting is addressing the barriers – primarily in the public sector, to the development and implementation of the energy efficient lighting. Vietnam tackled this with five key components:

  1. Policy Development;
  2. Technical Support;
  3. Financing;
  4. Technology Demonstration;
  5. Information Dissemination and Awareness Raising