With the long nights of winter looming, United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), is helping communities save energy and money by installing efficient LED street lighting across its service territory.
The company says it is on track for its end-of-year goal to convert 85 percent of the 51,500 municipal streetlights it owns and maintains to LED technology. By Dec. 31, the company expects to have converted approximately 44,000 municipal streetlights to LED. UI owns and maintains the streetlights in 16 of the 17 Connecticut towns and cities it serves.
“Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, and as the days grow shorter, we’re pleased about the progress we’ve made in rolling out money- and energy-saving LED street lighting,” said UI President & CEO Tony Marone. “LED lighting is a ‘win’ for everyone involved — particularly our towns and cities, who save significantly on energy costs while also drawing tax revenue from the upgraded UI fixtures. Additionally, LEDs provide a crisp, high-quality light that can improve visibility and help keep streets safe.”
The LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures use significantly less energy than the high-pressure sodium streetlight fixtures they’re replacing, and last about 2.5 times longer, which means reduced maintenance and fewer burned-out bulbs.
Converting to LED streetlights can provide municipalities upwards of 35 percent savings on monthly street lighting bills, UI estimated, depending on that community’s exact street lighting plan. In addition to the energy savings, the upgraded streetlights are also valuable assets generating annual tax revenue for each community.
“The new streetlights offer an excellent quality of light, which helps reduce accidents and keep our streets safe. And we’re able to pass the savings along directly to our taxpayers,” Orange First Selectman James Zeoli said.
The energy-efficient bulbs also offset the need for energy generated by burning fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and are thought to contribute to climate change. UI’s parent company, AVANGRID, has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2035.
UI launched the program in 2015 in Bridgeport and is on track by year-end to complete the roll-out in a total of 15 communities.
As part of its LED rollout, UI works with municipal leaders to develop a custom plan that meets the needs of the specific community and neighborhood. Its LED offerings include two different color temperatures (3,000 and 4,000 Kelvin) and six wattage options to accommodate residential, commercial and industrial areas.
When complete, the LED street lighting is expected to:
- Reduce overall electric consumption by about 12.8 million kilowatt-hours a year across UI’s system — more electricity than 1,500 typical homes use in a year.
- Offset carbon-dioxide emissions equivalent to those produced by burning 4,700 tons of coal, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
- Reduce maintenance costs by an estimated $2.6 million over 15 years.