The European GreenLight Programme
An initiative promoted by the European Commission


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The GreenLight Programme is a voluntary pollution prevention initiative encouraging non-residential electricity consumers (public and private), referred to as Partners, to commit towards the European Commission to install energy-efficient lighting technologies in their facilities when (1) it is profitable, and (2) lighting quality is maintained or improved. GreenLight was launched on 7 February 2000 by the European Commission Directorate General Energy & Transport.

The objective of the GreenLight programme is to reduce the energy consumption from indoor and outdoor lighting throughout Europe, thus reducing polluting emissions and limiting the global warming. The objective is also to improve the quality of visual conditions while saving money.

The core of the programme is a registration form, signed by the Partner and the Commission, in which the Partner commits to:

  • For existing spaces: either upgrade at least 50% of all the eligible spaces owned or on long term leases or reduce the total aggregate lighting electricity consumption by at least 30%. Eligible spaces are those spaces where the lighting upgrades are profitable.
  • For new spaces: choose new installations so that no alternative installation exists that would: maintain or improve the lighting quality provided by the chosen installation and consume less electricity and represent a supplementary investment which would be profitable.
  • In addition, the Partner shall complete the upgrades within 5 years of joining the programme, send a progress report every year and appoint a Corporate Manager responsible for assuring the programme execution.
The programme is totally voluntary, which means that companies are free to decide whether they want to join or not. If a Partner cannot meet minimal space requirements or reductions in total lighting energy, they may drop out of the programme without any prejudice to rejoin when their situation changes.

Lighting professionals interested in promoting GreenLight and assisting its Partners are encouraged to register as GreenLight Endorsers. In return, the Endorsers get public acknowledgement for their efforts to support the GreenLight Programme. Joining the GreenLight Endorser Programme proceeds also through registration.

While the Commission does not provide actual funds for the lighting upgrades (because they pay for themselves), it provides support to the Partners in the form of information resources and public recognition (plaques on building, advertisements, exclusive use of the logo, awards, etc.). Other benefits for Partners are the fact that:

  • they save money (they only carry out the cost effective lighting upgrades)
  • they have better lighting conditions which is good for their employees and their clients
  • they get technical assistance and Energy Service Companies can even finance up-front capital improvements in the client's premises in exchange for a portion of the savings generated.
  • they can publicly claim that they are taking part in a European programme to reduce CO2 emissions, i.e. they can claim to be a "green or environmental conscious company"
  • they get free publicity about their participation from public authorities including the Commission
GreenLight benefits from the active support of the National Energy Agencies of 14 European countries. Please contact them for more information.