How adaptive traffic signals can help reduce GHG emissions?

1) Sustainability issues : Wasted fuel and money, extended commuting time, unlivable streets and related GHG emissions due to traffic congestion. It is an Energy, Health and Mobility issue.

2) Technology Article :

  • The technology is an adaptive traffic signal system called SCATS that has been deployed in the city of Bellevue, outside of Seattle. It has been first developed by the Australian Transport Roads and Maritime Services for the City of Sydney and distributed by Australian companies.
  • How does it work? The timing of the intersection signals fluctuates in real-time with traffic conditions using a series of wires embedded in city streets and boulevards
  • Benefits : The system saves drivers $9 million to $12 million annually and enables a decrease of 36% to 43% on heavily trafficked streets during rush hours!
  • State of the art : Only 3% of the nation’s traffic signals are currently adaptive, the largest number being in Los Angeles.
  • Condition : The system works in smaller cities with particular problematic corridors and prevent from widening the lane and creating a bigger infrastructure impact.

3) I work for the NYS DOT

The stakeholders that will need to use the technology found :

  • The NYS DOT will have to promote this solution
  • The Department of Transportation in smaller cities of the State of New York
  • The technology distributors and deployers
  • The New York State Sustainable Business Council might be concerned since smarter road lights will enable a more efficient, sustainable and vibrant business life in the State


  • Choose a medium size city around NYC with a specific corridor with traffic issue, partner with a SCARTS distributor and deploy the solution as a one-year pilot project on its more congested streets
  • Measure and promote the savings in fuel consumption and decrease in CO2 emissions to other medium size cities in the State AND to commuters (residents and companies) – through a state-wide PR campaign for example
  • Scale-up the initiative simultaneously in 10 new cities and celebrate results in terms of GHG emissions reduction at the state scale, translating it into quality of life net profit and households savings

Residential Energy and Water Management using Monitoring Tablets

1. The Sustainability Problem is the lack of real-time information for residents about their home energy and water consumption.

2.  Technology

Source: Energy pass, a new tool to monitor service charges in new buildings, Le

  • The Energy-Pass Tablet is an energy, water and heating monitoring tool to optimize residential consumption and lower low-income residents’ utility bills.
  • The technology is part of a broader service offer that includes residents teaching programs and maintenance services.
  • Other relevant information can be uploaded to the tablet to improve residents quality of life (public transportation schedules, weather…).
  • The technology is being tested in 54 social housing units in Paris area and this pilot project has been approved by the ADEME (French Energy Management and Environment Agency).
  • Proposed by Bouygues Bâtiments Ile-de-France (Bouygues Construction). Similar products -though web-based and energy-focused – are proposed by the Californian Agilewaves or The Energy Detective.

3. Stakeholders

  • Building owners and architects to adopt the technology and integrate the device upstream in social housing construction and budgeting process – in order to have a coherent financial and technical system at the building scale
  • Electricians for setting up, updating and maintaining the hard and software in individual home
  • Customers-residents to use the monitoring device daily and keep track of their consumptions in order to change their habits and reduce their utility costs
  • The technology seller, Bouygues Ile de France: to teach customers how to use the tablet, propose updates and collect customer feedback (directly from the tablet for example)
  • Energy and water suppliers are indirect stakeholders that might experience a decrease in demand due to an efficient use of the tablet. They could also collect consumption information directly from the tablet

4. Deployment steps

NB : the technology being currently tested, the 3 steps start from the real stage of the technology deployment

1 – Collect customer feedback on tablets and services and actual consumption reduction data from the pilot project; then improve the technology soft and hardware accordingly.

2- Communicate on successes to convince major social landlords and architects to partner, in France and internationally, so the technology becomes a must-have in social housing offers (before making it a legal requirement).

3 –Scale it up to other uses:

  • other new buildings (beyond low income housing)
  • existing buildings (during retrofitting operations)
  • commercial buildings (part of employee awareness)