LED streetlights – town owned
At the MMA’s annual convention on Friday afternoon I attended a presentation on energy saving ideas, one of which was to the effect that now is the time for towns to buy the streetlights and installing new LED streetlights, as the savings are running 20-60%. The presenter, George Woodbury of Republic ITS (www.republicits.com) formerly worked for the DPW in Lexington.
First, the statute requires the utility to sell the town the streetlights at their net book value as carried by the utility, and the utilities have depreciated the streetlights over time such that the values are low. One city paid $40,000 for all its streetlights.
Second, the LED fixtures are now ready for prime time:
• the price of LED fixtures has recently dropped 50%, making it economical to install new LED streetlights.
• With the LED streetlights up to 98% of the light generated leaves the fixture
• light can be distributed more uniformly over large areas
• LED’s like to operate in our cooler New England climate
• 55% energy reduction
• adaptive controls can be installed, which will allow dimming the fixtures, and which will also read the water meters – NB, the utilities do not yet credit towns for the lower energy usages these achieve
• grants are available from the utilities and the Public Technology Inc (PTI) – faster paybacks if used to but the lower wattage lights
• night time visibility is actually improved by the elimination of the current hot spots generated by current streetlights
• expect to get 150-180 lumens per watt
Third, the town would contract with a third party to provide the required maintenance.
Lastly, deciding at what time to adopt a new technology is always an issue (e.g. – do you wait for the next iteration of the cell phone or computer you need to get a better product). Woodbury opined that the LED’s will improve 20% in the next five years. My question would be, how long do we want to wait to save some money?
This link gets you to George Woodbury’s contact information http://medfield02052.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/contacts-business-cards.pdf