Small cities in Washington are getting big help from the state to convert their streetlights from high-pressure sodium lamps to LEDs.
The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board announced recently that it has arranged directly with utility companies to convert to LED streetlights for eligible cities throughout the Puget Sound Energy and Avista Utilities service areas. Work will begin as soon as July 2015 and continue for six years. Cities with LED streetlights will pay new lower LED streetlight rates, saving at least 25 percent of monthly operating costs. Agencies outside of these service providers will be able to receive direct grants beginning in 2016.
Seattle City Light collaborated with the board as it developed the program, sharing the utility’s experience on fixture specifications and performance.
City Light converted about 41,000 residential streetlights to LEDs and is now working to replace high-pressure sodium streetlights on arterial streets with energy efficient LEDs. Read more about that program here. The utility also led the US Department of Energy’s Municipal Solid State Street Lighting Consortium for four years, encouraging communities across the country to share information about LED streetlights and to speed installation of the energy saving lights.
Here’s the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board’s announcement of its new program, called Relight Washington:
Relight Washington LED Streetlight Program coming to small cities beginning in 2015
TIB introduced a new program in 2015 to move small cities to the front of the line in cost saving LED streetlight replacement. Small cities and cities with low tax base, including all cities with population under 5,000, will be eligible for LED streetlight conversion. TIB intends to help cities take advantage of the up to 55 percent savings experienced with LED technology.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
All small cities (population under 5,000) will be eligible to receive funds. Additionally the board has included urban agencies (population 5,000 and up) that have an assessed value under $2 billion. Cities, including those over $2 billion assessed value, may also apply for funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce, subject to state budget adoption.
WHAT IS ELIGIBLE?
Streetlights on public streets within the city limits are eligible if the city pays for them directly or through utility rates. Small numbers of new additional lights and directly related minor upgrades may be authorized by TIB.
HOW WILL THE PROGRAM WORK?
TIB has arranged directly with utility companies to convert to LED streetlights for eligible cities throughout the Puget Sound Energy and Avista Utilities service areas. Work will begin as soon as July 2015 and continue for six years. Cities with LED streetlights will pay new lower LED streetlight rates, saving at least 25 percent of monthly operating costs. Agencies outside of these service providers will be able to receive direct grants beginning in 2016.
WHAT SHOULD AGENCIES BE DOING?
If your city is in the PSE or Avista service areas, no action is required. You will receive funding authorization from TIB based on our coordinated scheduling with the utility. Cities outside the Avista and PSE service areas may wish to prepare for future grant opportunities by inventorying light type, wattage and location. Contact your utility company to ensure that significant cost savings will be shared with the city after installation. TIB will not fund conversion in cases where no cost savings is shared with the city through lower rates.
WHAT IS NEXT?
TIB will start the first installations of streetlights this summer in the investor owned service areas where agreements are in place.
RELIGHT WASHINGTON ELIGIBLE AGENCIES
Beaux Arts Village
Lake Forest Park
South BendSouth Cle ElumSouth Prairie