Chicago, IL

Estimated Results Achieved from Completed Conversion
Number of Lights Committed Electricity Savings  kWh/yr) Value of Electricity Saved ($/yr) Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions (metric tonnes/yr)
270,000 181,679,358 127,721 $9,300,000




Program Description

The Chicago Infrastructure Trust worked with the Mayor's Office and multiple departments to upgrade the city’s street lighting infrastructure to LED technology. The 2016-2017 procurement process focused on: replacement of approximately 270,000 of the city’s high pressure sodium fixtures to LEDs, targeted infrastructure stabilization repairs, and deployment of a lighting management system enabling real-time monitoring and control of the fixtures, and to support future smart city applications.

Service Area

The City of Chicago.

Situation Highlights

Chicago has decided to not only upgrade its lights but also to proactively prepare ts entire street lighting network to serve as part of the underlying architecture for future “Smart City” technologies. Agencies across the city were engaged, including but not limited to the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Department of Innovation and Technology (DOIT), Fleet & Facility Management (2FM), Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), as well as Chicago Park District. By 2021, the Chicago Smart Lighting Project will replace about 85% of the city’s outdoor lamps.  The new lights will consume 50-75 percent less electricity and the savings are to be used to offset the cost of the modernization. 

The initial focus of the replacement program (and the commitment to OLA) was on high-pressure sodium cobrahead fixtures, the most common type; ornamental fixtures may be converted in later stages. The project includes a public engagement process to solicit input from residents about preferences and priorities for neighborhood lighting. The City included a full infrastructure condition assessment into the project scope to help prioritize targeted infrastructure stabilization repair work. Work is expected to start mid-2017 and be completed by 2021. Currently the city does not expect to utilize separate project financing but will include the annual project costs in its capital expenditures budget throughout the project timeline. Chicago will continue to own and maintain all street lights following the conversion, however, the city may need to negotiate tariff with Commonwealth Edison. 

Additional Information