Funded by grant awards from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, communities throughout the state of Iowa are beginning the conversion of existing streetlights to the energy efficient solid state technology of LEDs. Iowa communities received grants of $1.8 million which were to be used to implement energy efficient streetlighting. These federal grants are locally administered by Iowa Office of Energy Independence. The majority of grant recipients are communities which are also municipal utilities. These municipal utilities are represented by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU).
The IAMU has been working actively with its members to support the adoption of LED streetlighting technology. Recently, the association hosted a workshop focused on energy efficient streetlights, and also issued a survey to its members to determine interest in pursuing additional installations. “There was tremendous interest in either starting LED streetlight programs or adding to already existing programs among our members,” said Jonathan Roberts, energy services engineer for the IAMU. The goal for the IAMU is to increase purchasing power for its member communities and maximize each dollar allocated for LED streetlighting. “The communities which have already installed LED streetlights are extremely pleased with the results in terms of energy cost savings and the public’s satisfaction with the new fixtures. All of the new fixtures are metered, so savings can be immediately calculated,” said Roberts. Currently there are about 54,696 streetlights among the IAMU member communities and only about 203 have been replaced with LEDs. According to Roberts, initial calculations estimate that approximately 2,307, or about 4.2%, will be installed in 2011.
To assist IAMU members with new or additional LED streetlight purchases, the association is planning on issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) by late October or early November 2011 to solicit bids from suppliers. The RFP will be funded by combining EECBG grants awarded to IAMU member communities. According to Roberts, about thirty two member communities have expressed an interest in participating.