Street lighting can be a significant share of a municipal’s electricity consumption, and with a retrofit from a traditional street light to a high efficiency LED, a city can see a reduction in street lighting energy use of up to 50%. SPEER, in partnership with the State Energy Conservation Office and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) produced and distributed a brief case study highlighting the City of El Paso and their multi-year effort to retrofit their street lights.
Example of savings from City of El Paso’s Retrofit Project
|Cost||kWh saved||Dollars Saved||Simple Payback|
|Traffic Light Project 6,600 traffic light retrofits from incandescent to LEDs||$2.979 million||9,888,132 kWh per year||$642,192 a year in savings||4.6 years|
Streetlight Project Phase One
7,300 streetlight conversion
|$7.8 million||5,553,177 kWh per year||$830,225 a year in savings||9.4 years|
Downtown Light Retrofit
920 Decorative Antique Style
|$1.5 million||410,710 kWh per year||$107,118 a year in savings||14 years|
Streetlight Project Phase 2 Two
10,600 streetlight conversion
|$7.5 million||5,428,670 kWh per year||$838,795 per year in savings||8.9 years|
Our research showed that over a dozen mid-size cities have completed retrofits or are in the process of retrofitting with high efficiency LED street lights. These cities have replaced approximately 600,000 streetlights and have seen more than 198 million kWh in reduction. This new technology has now proven to be a cost-effective way for cities to reduce their consumption.
In Texas and Oklahoma there are various street lighting tariffs, street lighting ownership, and lamp maintenance agreements between each city and their utility. In most areas, utility fees include a flat fee per lamp based on the assumed calculated wattage of the lamp, as identified in the utilities tariff, although some utilities have not yet established a rate for LED lamps. Establishing ownership, auditing assets, and negotiating maintenance and tariff agreements lay the groundwork for such a project.
In early 2015, SPEER worked with Department of Energy and collaborated with other REEO’s to gather knowledge and information on the common barriers that exist in this segment. We also worked with cities and utilities in Texas and Oklahoma to identify and assist with barriers in retrofits to LED street lighting projects. This effort included identifying cities and utilities that have overcome barriers and to identify solutions, as well as research utilities to determine where there are existing rate structures to support retrofitting street lighting with LED’s.
Going forward, SPEER is networking and collaborating with mid-size cities in Texas and Oklahoma to assist them in understanding the current barriers and solutions to street lighting retrofit projects in their area. We are also working with utilities, energy service companies and lighting manufacturers to educate and promote efficient street lighting retrofit projects throughout Texas and Oklahoma. SPEER plans to host webinars and in-person meetings directed at these audiences to provide information and resources to successfully implement a street lighting retrofit project.
Street Lighting Reports
Texas Street Lighting Assessment – January 2015
Street Lighting Implementation Guide– May 2017
Oklahoma Street Lighting Assessment – May 2017
LED Street Lighting Business Case – September 2017
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium provides resources to cities, utilities, and other interested parties to help maximize the value of the cities dollars spent on LED street lighting.