Tag Archives: Mid-Hudson LED Streetlights Consortium

Maintenance Practices For LED Streetlights

Webinar Hosted By The U. S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

This April 14, 2014 webinar answered important questions about the maintenance and Maintenance Practices For LED Street Lightsreliability of LED streetlights, and how to take these issues into account when planning and preparing for a transition to LED street lighting.

Presenters Glenn Cooper of the City of Boston, Stephen Crume of the City of Seattle, and Patrick Batte of the City of Las Vegas discussed actual field experiences of their respective LED street lighting programs and lessons learned along the way.

They also reviewed failure rates and failure modes experienced to date and the associated best practices their programs have developed in response.

View Webinar And Slides

Regional Wrap-Up: Which Communities Have Converted to LED Streetlights?

City of Yonkers
In July 2013, under the leadership of former Sustainability Director Brad Tito and Mayor Spano, the City of Yonkers launched the LED Street Light Replacement Project to replace all 12,000 of the city’s cobra heads with new LED lights. The LEDs will cut Yonkers’ energy bill by 60%, save taxpayers $18 million in energy costs over ten years and reduce Yonkers’ carbon footprint by 3,000 tons annually.
The new lights are also extremely durable and last upwards of 80,000 hours or nearly 19 years. That means less ongoing maintenance and more taxpayer savings. They’re also a lot brighter than the old lights. That means improved lighting and increased public safety in our neighborhoods.
Village of Dobbs Ferry
The first community in Westchester to have done a significant installation of LED streetlights.  A 2009 greenhouse gas emissions inventory highlighted that the Village’s 700 lights, including a mix of high pressure sodium and incandescent, were responsible for 16% of municipal green house gas emissions and cost about $100K in annual energy costs.
The Village made the decision to leapfrog from the very outdated incandescent fixtures to LED. Since there were no significant installations of LED streetlights in the area at the time, from 2009-2010, the Department of Public Works tested various models for ease of installation and performance.
Dobbs Ferry contracted with a vendor in 2011, purchasing 300 fixtures for municipal use and including a provision allowing for purchases by other municipalities.
  • The Village decided to finance the fixtures itself as borrowing costs were low and the payback – 3 years – was very short.
  • The Village also decided to install the lights using public works staff and equipment.  This proved slow going, requiring 18 months to replace the 300 lights.
  • The lights have been installed for 4+ years. Superintendent of Public Works Gary Gardner reports that they have been trouble-free. No more than 1 has been replaced.  He also shared that there have been very few complaints about light quality and many fewer complaints related to streetlight outages.
City of New Rochelle
New Rochelle began its conversion of 7,000 streetlights to LED streetlights in December 2015. The switch to LED will save the City over 2,777,551.66 kwh annually, translating to $639,000 per year.
Under the leadership of Commissioner of Public Works Alex Tergis and Mayor Noam Bramson, the city issued an RFP and awarded a contract for replacement and installation of its 7,000 lights to Lumen Light Solutions.  Importantly, New Rochelle’s contract includes a provision that allows other municipalities to piggyback on their procurement – providing an option for either direct purchase or a performance contract structure.
This opportunity has been seized by many municipalities – according to Lumen, 16 municipalities are purchasing lights through the New Rochelle contract for a total of 30,000 fixtures.  One of those actually is Dobbs Ferry, which is completing is streetlight retrofit in this manner.
Visit nystreetlights.com for information and updates on municipal LED streetlight conversion.

Street Lighting in NYS: Opportunities and Challenges

streetlight_reportReport Written by Energy Resource Solutions for NYSERDA
The Street Lighting in New York State report presents results of an initial analysis of potential savings and barriers associated with upgrading existing municipal street lighting throughout New York State to solid-state light-emitting diode (LED) technology.
Jurisdictions around the country have already begun to realize the benefits associated with upgrading to LED street light technologies. Cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Seattle have already completed large-scale conversions of their streetlights.
Although there is a growing amount of LED street lighting activity across New York State, to date there has not been a clear pathway and set of best practices to facilitate streetlight conversions by individual municipalities. This report is a first step toward creating those best practices.
The conclusion of this study was that a statewide LED street lighting strategic engagement would greatly benefit New York State for three reasons:
  • Taxpayers would benefit from lower municipal street lighting expenditures.
  • Utilities and municipalities would benefit from reduced maintenance.
  • The population in general would benefit from the significant contribution made toward meeting climate change mitigation goals.

Consortium Submits Comments to Public Service Commission Calling for Transparency in Streetlight Purchase Agreements

The Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium and the Ulster County Association of Supervisors and Village Mayors have submitted comments to the Public Service Commission regarding the tariff filings by Central Hudson Gas & Electric, New York State Electric & Gas and Orange & Rockland Utilities to Effectuate Amendments to Public Service Law – New 70-a (Transfer of Streetlight Systems). In essence, MHSC is calling for a clear and transparent process for municipalities to purchase their streetlight assets and upgrade to energy efficient lighting in a timely manner.

Download the reports:

Webinars: Streetlight Audits, Financing and Regulatory Framework for Streetlight Conversions

Courtney Strong Inc. has hosted webinars on three related topics to describe affordable steps that municipalities can take NOW to  begin exploring conversion to LED streetlights:

1. Education. Understand conversion opportunities, regulatory and legislative changes in relation to LED streetlights, and resources available to assist communities. View webinar.
2. Auditing. It is important to understand how many lights your municipality has and whether your records match those of your utility. Download Slides.
3. Financing. Learn how other communities have financed and installed LED streetlights and review financial considerations for your community. View webinar.

The Case for ArcGIS Audits: Streetlight Inventory Now Can Save $$ Later

As municipalities begin their annual budget process, many are searching, as always, to save taxpayer dollars. There are powerful tools municipalities now can use to save in the future, as they plan to take advantage of one of the biggest money saving opportunities out there: conversion to energy- and money-saving LED streetlights. To get started, your municipality can:

1 – Request your streetlight inventory from your utility.
2 – Consider retaining Computel or a similar firm that conducts billing audits for municipal utility bills. They are paid a percentage of the refund that they obtain for you.
3 – Consider an ArcGIS streetlight inventory to ensure that your LED replacement light fixtures will have the correct light levels (wattage and lumens) depending on application: residential, business or roadway. (Note: Municipalities in some utility territories can gain access to ArcGIS audit information after requesting to buy their streetlights; ask your utility representative.) Some municipalities conduct their own GIS audits using widely available technology; others prefer to hire a firm to do it. Our consortium can help you access information on both avenues.

What is an ArcGIS streetlight inventory?

Streetlight Inventory is a configuration of ArcGIS Online and the Collector for the ArcGIS application that can be used by public works operations staff to inventory streetlights erected at the edge of a road or walkway. The Streetlight Inventory map helps public works staff develop a comprehensive inventory of streetlights and the poles to which they are attached, and prepares this information for related maintenance management workflows. With regard to LED conversion, ArcGIS gives you detailed information about each fixture’s wattage and lumens, so that you can plan appropriate replacements for each light fixture.

Why is such detailed information needed?

Studies have shown 17 percent savings can be realized by undertaking this type of inventory. Some communities that have converted to money-saving LED streetlights have experienced fallout from homeowners who object to the brightness of the lights. This is not a necessary follow-on to LED conversion; it simply means that insufficient planning took place as to proper light levels for different areas in the community.

How much does an ArcGIS inventory cost?

The Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium can help you set up an inventory project.
– Municipal volunteers or staff can conduct the audit, and various consulting firms can analyze the data for a fee.
– Generally, rates begin at $8 to $9 per light for a inventory and analysis project.

What can our municipality do with this information, once we have it?

The Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium is now in operation, and elsewhere in this newsletter you’ll read about the services we offer at no charge to municipalities, thanks to a NYSERDA Cleaner Greener Communities award. We invite you to join the Consortium (application below) and we will help you use the inventory to study your next moves, which can include purchasing your streetlights from your utility company and then purchasing LEDs or leasing LEDs from the utility. The inventory will give you granular information to ensure that light levels are appropriate for residential, commercial, and highway applications.

Introducing: Mid-Hudson Strategies for LED Streetlight Conversion

The Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium will create a more affordable pathway to LED street light conversion for Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester municipalities in the Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Orange & Rockland, and New York State Electric & Gas, and Con Edison territories. Converting to LED street lights has the potential to deliver electricity cost savings of up to 65 percent to municipalities. NYSERDA’s 2014 study, Street Lighting in New York State: Opportunities and Challenges, found that if this were accomplished statewide, an estimated 524 gigawatt hours of electricity and $97 million would be saved annually.

Once the first 20 Mid-Hudson 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.

The Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium is a two-year project funded by NYSERDA’s Cleaner, Greener Communities program.

Many Mid-Hudson municipalities are eager to convert but encounter hurdles understanding their options and successfully negotiating the outcome they seek. This is where the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium can help. Support to municipalities that join the Consortium – at no cost – includes:

  • A survey of Mid-Hudson municipalities to ascertain which seek assistance with conversion to LED streetlights, and the types of assistance desired.
  • An Options Study to analyze the pathways to LED conversion for municipalities that do not currently own their streetlights, focusing on regulatory (tariff) and financial considerations.
  • Facilitation of municipal streetlight audits, (possible resources include Computel or an ARC GIS). These audits are strongly encouraged before conversion to make sure the right decisions are made re: wattage, lumens and usage (residential versus commercial; busy versus quiet street, etc.).
  • Procurement support, including model RFPs that address furnishing, installation and maintenance appropriate to each utility territory to streamline the procurement process for interested municipalities.
  • Support for an aggregated procurement process to capture volume pricing discounts for interested municipalities.
  • Information and analysis regarding streetlight buyout terms being offered by the various utilities to individual municipalities.
    Continuous knowledge sharing via webinars, workshops and a conference.

For more information about the Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium, please visit our team page and webinars page. Municipalities may fill out the free consortium application HERE.

For questions, email Pat Courtney-Strong at pat@courtneystrong.com.