Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)

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)
25,000 8,712,500 $932,238 6,125




Program Description

The Smart Lights initiative was designed to help local governments in the Kansas City area install high-efficiency street lighting technologies. The initiative has engaged communities in the region through a partnership called the Smart Lights Coalition, consisting of 25 cities with populations under 35,000, MARC and local utility providers. Larger cities have followed suit and started to retrofit their streetlights with LED technology.

Service Area

MARC serves 119 cities and 9 counties in the in the Kansas City, MO metropolitan region.

Situation Highlights

MARC assisted member communities with LED pilot programs funded by the US DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The majority of participating cities did not own streetlights, which were leased through utility companies. The Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a pilot LED tariff that did not yield the significant cost savings communities expected. MARC was able to determine that cities need to purchase streetlights from utilities to fully benefit for LED project. The alternative was to negotiate a tariff in favor of communities receiving more cost savings. Recently KCP&L did receive an LED permanent tariff in the state of Missouri.

Progress in the effort is ongoing, however many smaller cities continue to wait for utility tariff relief in order to pursue LED replacement of their street lighting systems.  In contrast, cities with municipally owned utilities like Independence, MO, have been able to accelerate their retrofits and are posting progress on interactive LED streetlight maps.

Kansas City Power & Light is pursuing a “structured conversion” by offering LED luminaires for new and replacement lights and recently replaced 5500 streetlights with LED technology.

Additional Information