Governor Cuomo: $790,000 for Mid-Hudson Municipalities To Reduce Energy Costs By Converting To LED Street Lights

First of its kind initiative for LED conversion can cut costs by up to 65 percent and decrease greenhouse gas emissions

Announced During Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance Conference

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $790,000 is now available for cities, towns and villages in the Mid-Hudson Region through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to convert streetlights to LEDs. This initiative, which was announced during the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance Conference, is projected to reduce each participating municipality’s electricity costs by up to 65 percent which could result in more than $6 million in energy savings.

“Communities across the state are playing a larger role in combating climate change and securing a cleaner and greener future for all of New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will play a critical role in helping New Yorkers in the Mid-Hudson Valley transition to cutting-edge, 21st century lighting technologies that are essential for building more sustainable communities, while also cutting costs and reducing burdens on local property taxpayers.”

The Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium will administer the initiative and is the first such consortium in the state to assist municipalities with LED street light conversion. Assistance in understanding LED conversion options is available to all 249 municipalities in Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Columbia, Greene and Westchester counties, regardless of whether the municipality or the utility owns the lights.

The consortium is led by Courtney Strong Inc. and its partners, Abundant Efficiency LLC, Citizens for Local Power and LightSmart Consulting LLC. Municipalities can join the Consortium at no cost and will receive access to services including:

  • Analysis and options for LED conversion
  • Procurement support, including sample Request for Proposals and inter-municipal agreements that can support shared purchasing, installation and maintenance
  • Support with negotiations with utilities for buyouts of existing lighting facilities
  • Technical assistance
  • Continuous knowledge-sharing through webinars and workshops

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made the announcement as part of the Sustainable Development Conference in Hyde Park, said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State is incentivizing a common-sense approach to reducing greenhouse gases. As a former local government official, I know how important it is to help our municipalities reduce their operating costs. Replacing streetlights with LEDs will not just help our environment, it will help taxpayers keep money in their pockets.”

By reducing the overall amount of electricity the State consumes, this project advances Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy and recently enacted Clean Energy Standard, a nation-leading mandate that 50 percent of New York State’s electricity come from renewable energy resources by 2030.

Under REV, New York State is putting renewed emphasis on harnessing the capabilities of local governments to motivate their communities and accelerate local energy-saving and renewable energy projects. Community actions will help them meet their sustainability, climate and energy objectives while contributing to the State’s energy goals.

Once the first 20 municipalities take advantage of the program and convert to LED street lighting, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced by more than 42,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 15 years, equivalent to removing 8,840 cars off the road over this span.

New York State Energy and Finance Chairman Richard Kauffman said, “Local community and municipal leaders play a critical role in our transition to a clean energy future and our pathway to meeting the Governor’s aggressive 50 percent by 2030 renewables commitment. I’m thrilled New York will support public projects like LED conversions to reduce costs, cut emissions, and continue our progress on climate change under Reforming the Energy Vision.”

NYSERDA’s support for the project is from the Governor’s Cleaner, Greener Communities initiative, which encourages communities to incorporate sustainability goals and principles into local decision-making and then form partnerships to transform these goals into economic development projects.

NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “Local governments are increasingly seeking new energy and cost savings opportunities to create more sustainable communities. This project will serve as a model for other regions and advances Governor Cuomo’s REV strategy for a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system.”

Courtney Strong Inc. President Pat Courtney Strong said, “We are very pleased to be working with NYSERDA on this important project. We know that Mid-Hudson municipalities are very interested in the deep energy savings they will realize from transitioning to LED streetlights. Our job over the next two years will be helping them identify the key issues for their community as they plan that transition, and providing decision support for their choices.”

On November 20, 2015 Governor Cuomo amended the Public Service Law by adding a new section that establishes procedures for the transfer of ownership of complete street lighting systems to municipalities or other government entities. With the change in ownership, municipalities take control of the lighting on their own streets and have the opportunity to install state-of-the-art, energy efficient lights and new technologies to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment.

Providing municipalities with the opportunity to have more control over energy usage fits into Governor Cuomo’s strategy to provide all consumers more control over the energy they consume. By empowering communities to have more say over their energy use, street lighting conversions help local governments lower municipal energy expenditures while lowering overall emissions, thereby advancing the State’s efforts to lead on climate change.

NYSERDA’s 2014 study, Street Lighting in New York State: Opportunities and Challenges, found that if street lights statewide were changed to LEDs, an estimated $97 million and 524 gigawatt hours of electricity would be saved annually, the equivalent of powering 74,000 homes.

For more information about joining the Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium, visit www.nystreetlights.org.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York’s economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven 600 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor’s $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us @Rev4NY.

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