Through the course of the Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator, 16 cities, 3 states, and 6 regional groups explored best practice approaches to improve the way communities apply advanced outdoor lighting technologies in parking lots and highways. As a result of these efforts, partners have embarked on a multitude of solutions such as designing regional bonding authorities or joint purchasing programs, financing street light upgrades, and many more. Below are descriptions of each program along with links to more detailed partner profile pages.
The City of Albany, NY was part of New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Five Cities Energy Master Plan project. Approximately 57% of Albany’s energy budget was spent on street lighting, most of which was spent on operations and maintenance. The City investigated funding opportunities to convert to LED street lighting.
In an effort to reach 100% adoption of LED street lights throughout the city, Anchorage experienced impediments due to asset ownership across four agencies. The City investigated collaborative pathways to implement the city-wide retrofit project.
California Street Light Association (CALSLA)
The California Street Light Association (CALSLA) worked on behalf of cities and counties throughout the State of California to reduce electric rates and facilities charges for street lights and traffic signals.
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.
Dearborn, MI worked with a coalition of neighboring cities and towns to create a regional lighting authority.
Deerfield Beach, FL
The city pursued the replacement of the street lighting system as part of a larger sustainability project that also aimed to retrofit public buildings and undertake other efficiency measures throughout its metro area. Ownership across the city is divided among four agencies: the city, Florida Power & Light (FPL), Broward County, and the Florida Department of Transportation.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), PA
Regardless of size, fiscal or staffing capacity, each municipality participating in the Regional Streetlight Procurement Program is able to leverage economies of scale and confidently access energy performance contracting and low-interest finance to convert their entire outdoor lighting systems to more energy efficient LED at no upfront cost. DVRPC issued a single RFP on behalf of 45 municipalities in southeastern PA to identify an energy services company (ESCO) that would execute energy performance contracts for street and exterior lighting upgrades. 35 of the 45 municipalities ultimately proceeded with a performance contract.
The Detroit Public Lighting Authority (PLA) was established in 2013 to manage a comprehensive restoration of the city’s street lighting system. In addition to repair and replace most of the street lights, much of the associated wiring and supporting electrical infrastructure also needed replacement. Restoration of the system was one of the top two priorities identified by the city following its declaration of bankruptcy.
The City of Flint, MI began the initial street lighting inventory process in preparation for suitable retrofit opportunities under the existing Consumers Energy LED street lighting program. The city was challenged by limited staffing and funding resources along with re-prioritization of public service infrastructure projects.
Garfield Clean Energy Collaborative, CO
The Garfield Clean Energy Collaborative has taken the initial steps to assist member communities with assessing the cost-saving opportunities of street light conversions to LED technology.
Huntington Beach, CA
Street lights cost the City of Huntington Beach about $2 million per year and were expected to continue to increase. Southern California Edison (SCE) owns the ~13,000 street lights responsible for about $1.8 million of that cost and the city owns the rest (~2000 street lights, amounting to $164,000 of unmetered street lights and $43,000 of metered lights).
Little Rock, AR
Litte Rock, AR focused on determining the benefits of street light ownership and the city's ability to absorb the expense of infrastructure upgrades.
Los Angeles, CA
The City of Los Angeles owns and operates one of the largest street lighting systems in the nation. The City’s Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL) is responsible for the design, construction, operation, maintenance and repair of the street lighting system within the city limits. In 2016 there were more than 210,000 lights in the City consisting of more than 400 designs.
Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), KS
The Smart Lights initiative was designed to help local governments in the Kansas City area install high-efficiency street lighting technologies. The initiative 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.
The city issued an RFP for “Conversion of City Street Lights to LED Fixtures and Transfer of Ownership from Utility to Municipality.” The project covered the LED conversion of all municipal streetlights as well as the lighting in parking structures. In 2016 most street lights were owned by Central Maine Power (CMP), and were 50 or 75 W HPS.
The City of Racine was in search of financial mechanisms for broad-scale deployment of LED street lights. Small-scale projects were completed using Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).
State of Rhode Island
The RI Office of Energy Resources (OER) developed a state-level program supporting the conversion of street lighting throughout its region, with enhanced incentives in addition to any applicable utility-administered (National Grid) incentives. Municipalities that retrofitted their existing streetlights to energy efficient LED technologies were eligible for $0.40 per watt reduced for qualified LED fixtures and $20.00 for each remotely-programmable dimming control installed.
San Diego, CA
In 2016, San Diego had over 60,000 street lights in operation, 9,000 of which belonged to local community "Lighting Districts" who pay a special assessment fee to support the additional or ornamental lighting in their neighborhoods. In addition, the city maintained more than 6,000 lights in parks, community ball fields, and other city facilities. The city also shared responsibility with Caltran for lights on the freeway off/on ramps that intersect city streets.
Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office (SEMREO)
SEMREO was founded in 2007 to help cities share resources and expertise to help each other save energy and expanded from five founding cities to 26 participating communities covering a total population of more than 1.8 million. The Southeast Michigan Regional Municipal Street Lighting Consortium is a SEMREO initiative with the goal to upgrade all public streetlights to LEDs throughout the Detroit metropolitan region by 2020.
Southern California Regional Energy Network (SOCALREN)
The Energy Network Public Agency Program identifies energy saving measures and works with public agencies through design, financing and construction to help accomplish energy efficiency projects. All services provided by The Energy Network are provided at no cost and are available to more than 700 public agencies in Southern California.
St. Petersburg, FL
The city’s public utility provider is Duke Energy, regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission. St. Petersburg currently leases about 30,000 street lights from Duke Energy, with an annual expenditure of about $1,876,000. A leasing arrangement allowed the city to benefit for street lighting service without purchasing the equipment outright. The street lighting equipment is purchased and installed by Duke Energy.
Takoma Park, MD
The City of Takoma Park completed a pilot project for 49 lights as a first step to evaluating city-wide retrorfits. Staff explored two options to achieve LED street lighting upgrades: 1) convert under utility ownership and LED tariffs; and 2) purchase the street lights from the utility using a Master Sales Agreement.
State of Tennessee
In 2013, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Energy Programs (TDEC OEP) received an award under the U.S. DOE’s State Energy Program Competitive Funding Opportunity Announcement, to stimulate energy investment in local jurisdictions, K-12 public schools, and public housing authorities. As part of this award, TDEC OEP and subrecipient Clean Energy Solutions, Inc. stimulated demand for light-emitting diode (LED) streetlight conversion projects by providing education, outreach, and no-cost technical assistance to local governments. To facilitate conversions, the state developed replicable ownership, tariff, and maintenance structures that produce beneficial economic outcomes for both local governments and local utilities.
Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB)
The TIB, a state-funded grant agency, coordinated with a number of its large investor owned utility (IOU) companies to relight small and low tax base cities in their respective service areas. This program started in summer 2015 and impacted about 80 cities. Grants became available to other cities outside the initial targete service areas beginning in 2016. The program has an estimated cost of $28 million over the targeted ten year timeframe.
West Palm Beach, FL
The City of West Palm Beach has had an ESPC in place for comprehensive energy management services since 2011. Street lights represented 25% of the city’s energy expenditure and thus was a prime target for improvement, with strong support from the mayor. The City and Florida Power & Light (FPL) each own about half of the 6800 lights in the city.