Forced to balance their budgets California Cities are turning to slashing expenses over raising taxes and fees. One of the most common ways these cities are able to create jobs, save energy and money has been by replacing inefficient high-pressure sodium (HPS) or high-intensity discharge street lights with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Why are they all turning to LED lighitng? Currently LED’s are the most energy-efficient lights on the market – the light-emitting diode, or LED variety – are up to three times more expensive than their traditional counterparts, yes. However, the up-front costs are worth it in the long run becasue they consume 80 percent less energy than conventional lighting products and virtually eliminate maintenance costs for up to 20 years.
Seattle, will have converted city wide by the end of this summer and has found that the switch to LEDs is already saving taxpayer money, and that falling prices are bringing projects in well under budget – nearly $5 million in the most recent round of installations.
Our new LED street lights are already saving more than $300,000 each year and with the latest round of installations the annual savings is expected to grow to nearly $900,000,” stated Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
Every city on the list below was able to undertake its LED retrofit project with funding provided from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – yes, the Tea Party- and GOP-maligned stimulus.
Here are 10 California cities that have turned to LED street lights to save money, improve safety, and slash carbon emissions:
1) Brisbane – San Francisco Last year, Brisbane used a low-interest loan to replace 372 HPS street lights with LEDs.
2) Carpinteria – Santa Barbara County city replaced 199 HPS, 138-watt street lights with brighter 29-watt LED fixtures. The project, funded with a $74,177 ARRA grant, will save the city $11,600 on its energy bill, and cut 33 tons of CO2, annually. Carpinteria has replaced over 90% of its traditional street lights with LEDs.
3) Needles – San Bernardino County city replaced 30 HPS lamps with LEDs. The retrofit, funded by a $30,048 ARRA grant, will save Needles $1,892 annually in avoided energy costs and cut CO2 by nearly 11,000 pounds each year.
4) Foster City – The city’s lighting swap-out replaced 260 HPS street lights with LEDs that use half the energy. The retrofit, funded by a $157,426 ARRA grant, will save Foster City taxpayers $17,600 in avoided energy costs, and $1,900 in avoided maintenance, annually.
5) Lemoore– Kings County city replaced 283 HPS street lights with brighter 39-watt LED fixtures. Funded last year by a $136,469 ARRA grant, the project will save the city $6,240 on its energy bill annually. Lemoore has replaced a quarter of its traditional street lights with LEDs.
6) Marysville – Sacramento retrofitted 176 HPS, 95-watt street lights – 15% of the total – with 39-watt LEDs. Funding came from a $69,000 ARRA grant. The project will save taxpayers $4,285 in energy costs annually.
7) Yountville – Napa wine country town, home to the world-famous The French Laundry restaurant, replaced 110 HPS street lights with LED fixtures. The project, completed early in 2011, was funded by a $25,000 ARRA grant and $200,473 low-interest loan. The retrofit will save the city $21,060 annually, and slash CO2 by 44 tons each year.
8) Ceres – Stanislaus County city will use a nearly $1.2 million low-interest loan to convert 2,200 HPS and mercury vapor street lights to LEDs. The project will save Ceres $108,500 on its energy bill annually and slash CO2 by 346 tons each year. Pay back on the loan is 11 years from the energy savings alone.
9) Burlingame – San Francisco Bay waterfront is completing a two-part lighting retrofit. Part one, funded by a $150,010 ARRA grant, replaced HPS street lights with LEDs and upgraded the lighting at the fire station, police department, corporate yard, city garage and library – good for $29,000 in annual energy savings. In part two, Burlingame will use a $458,633 loan to replace 767 HPS street lights with LEDs. With the energy savings alone, $57,500 annually, Burlingame can repay the loan in less than eight years.
10) Kerman – Fresno County will use a $202,000 low-interest loan and a $72,075 ARRA grant to replace all 718 HPS and metal-halide street lights citywide. The retrofit will save Kerman $26,364 annually, which could pay off the loan in less than eight years.
Are you ready to make the switch?
Contact us today to learn more about how switching to LED lighting can save you time, money, and can help make your properties a safer place.