Published on: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Takoma Park Newsletter

City Council provides direction on conversion to LED street lighting

After extensive investigation into options and costs and a presentation to the City Council on Sept. 21, City staff have been directed to pursue converting the PEPCO streetlights on wooden poles in the city to LED lights through the PEPCO conversion program. The conversion will be phased in on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis and will allow for adjustments to the program if needed.

At its Oct. 19 meeting, the City Council passed a resolution supporting the conversion of streetlights on wooden poles in Takoma Park to LED lights through the PEPCO conversion program and directed staff to work to ensure that lighting specifications and placement minimize costs, energy use, and light pollution, while enhancing safety and attractiveness.

In terms of environmental impact, conversion of existing streetlight fixtures to ones that are more energy efficient (LED technology) would reduce the City’s streetlight electricity use from 765,599 kwh to 382,800 kwh annually. LED fixtures also will be night sky compliant, within the 3,000 Kelvin level, to minimize light pollution. From a fiscal standpoint, the City could save between $746,000 and $904,000 in current dollars over a 20-year period by converting streetlights to LED fixtures through PEPCO.

LED conversion has already begun with the Flower Avenue Green Street project, and five percent of the City’s streetlights have already been converted. PEPCO will continue to own and maintain the lights, and the City will continue to pay for monthly maintenance charges per the rates set by the Public Service Commission. Further, the City will continue to procure its electricity through the Montgomery County purchasing group which enables the City to be part of a large buying group and thereby reduces the rate per kilowatt, and City staff will work with PEPCO staff to ensure that the replacement lighting is appropriate for City streets.

This article appeared in the November 2016 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.