The city council of San Carlos, California, recently approved the installation of the city’s first major installation of LED streetlights. The initiative is funded by an award from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program and is included in the capital project budget. The federal award was $124,092 and is locally administered by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The project will retrofit 192 existing high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights with LED fixtures manufactured by BetaLED, a division of Ruud Lighting, of Racine, Wisconsin.
“Although the city did not do its own pilot tests of LED fixtures, we did research on a variety of case studies and visited other municipal installations prior to pursuing this project,” said Sibely Calles, public works department for the city of San Carlos. The upcoming installation will be implemented as part of the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) turnkey program, which involves the purchase and installation of the fixtures and processing of rebates for the city of San Carlos. The BetaLED fixtures chosen for the installation qualify for fixture rebates as well as the utility’s revised tariff for LED streetlights. The streetlights identified for retrofit are primarily located in the city’s commercial and industrial corridors.
“We plan to save about $5,000 per year in electrical costs and about $1,500 in maintenance costs,” said Calles. The maintenance savings are a result of the longer expected life of the LED fixtures compared to existing HPS streetlight fixtures. The city of San Carlos currently budgets about $45,000 per year for streetlight maintenance according to Calles.