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    PubLiCity: Energy Efficient Modernization of Public Lighting in the City of Polotsk

    Implementation period: August 2015 – March 2020

    Interakcia Foundation developed the project and was engaged in its management, financial management, communication and community involvement.

    Project partners: Polotsk District Executive Committee (Applicant) and Interakcia Foundation, with support from the  Municipal Unitary Enterprise “Polotsk Utility Company” (affiliated partner).

    Budget: € 1 630 521,

    EU contribution: € 1 304 417 (80%)

    Location: Polotsk, Vitebsk region

    In 2011, Polotsk was the first Belarusian city to join the Covenant of Mayors and develop a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The PubLiCity project helped Polotsk to implement the SEAP measures for energy-efficient modernization of city lighting. Thanks to the project, central streets and major avenues of the city became better-lit, and public lighting now consumes less energy.

    The project was funded by the European Union under the EU4Energy initiative and CoM-DeP (Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects) Programme.


    Project outputs:
    1904 new LED lights in 28 central streets and major avenues of the city.
    12 self-sufficient solar-powered street lights.
    310 new street poles.
    Over 30 km of self-supporting insulated wires and 20 km of various cabling.
    26 city objects received new decorative lighting.
    New lamps have been integrated into a city-wide automated street lighting GPS control system, with 34 control boxes equipped with PLC lighting controller units.

    Public lighting modernization will help to reduce energy use by 265 MWh per year, which translates into almost 120 tons in CO2 savings.


    A large-scale city-wide project, with its annual Energy Days, motivated the residents of Polotsk to use energy more responsibly. The project also popularized the idea of public lighting modernization among other cities of Belarus and Eastern Partnership region.

    In September 2018, Polotsk hosted its first-ever Light Festival as part of the project. It was a 3-day festival of urban light art with focus on energy efficiency and a first event of this kind in Belarus. More than 30,000 visitors came to Polotsk to see 11 light installations in the city streets and take part in thematic events dedicated to different aspects of light and energy efficiency.


    In December 2019, Polotsk Light Festival was a runner-up for the Best Communication Idea in a communication contest held by the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus. Click here to read more about the Polotsk Light Festival

    More facts and achievements:
    Every year, as part of the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), Polotsk hosted Energy Days, a city-wide series of events aimed at promoting energy-efficient lifestyle and transition to clean energy. For four years, more than two thousand residents of Polotsk and the Polotsk region took part in the Energy Days.
    Thanks to a student architectural forum in 2016 and a Light Hackathon in 2018, city authorities now have concepts for creative lighting of the downtown area, tourist sights, city entrances, and suburban neighborhoods that they can use to develop actual public lighting projects.
    More than 10 thousand people took part on public opinion surveys during the project to share their perception of the modernization project and their motivation to save energy and resources. According to the results, the share of Polotsk residents who are satisfied with the quality of public lighting in the central streets and avenues of the city has increased from less than 50% in 2015 to almost 60% in 2020, while the share of respondents who try to save energy in their daily life has increased by almost 7%.
    In June 2020, Publicity project became one of the six finalists of the EU Sustainable Energy Award 2020 for Eastern Partner Countries. Only one project from each of the six Eastern Partnership countries made it to the finals!