The feasibility of installing LED streetlights is being evaluated by the city of Foster City, California, in the city’s first pilot program to study the energy efficient technology. The city used an award from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program to fund the 260 streetlight installation. The award, totaling $157,426, was used to purchase and install LED streetlight fixtures manufactured by BetaLED of division of Ruud Lighting of Racine, Wisconsin.
“We participated in the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) turn-key program which made the entire project very straightforward,” said Alan Shu, public works engineer for the city of Foster City. The BetaLED fixtures, selected by PG&E, enable the city to receive rebates in addition to a new rate tariff which reflects the lower energy consumption of LED streetlights. The new streetlight fixtures were installed in a commercial area of Foster City and replaced existing 200 watt and 250 watt city-owned high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights. “This pilot program will help us assess energy and maintenance savings, and evaluate potential future installations,” said Shu.
The city currently owns approximately 2,100 streetlights, of which most are HPS. According to city officials, based on the results of the pilot and the availability of funding, the city may consider additional streetlight retrofits. Calculated energy cost savings for the 260 streetlight pilot indicate that Foster City will save nearly $18,000 annually. In addition to energy cost savings, the city will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 75,000 pounds each year.