Municipal Lighting Retrofits and Energy Savings

Source: Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership;

While the City’s traffic lights have been upgraded to LEDs over the years, many street lights are still made up of older and less efficient lights (e.g. high pressure sodium, metal halide, a few induction lights, and florescent lights in some of the garages).

Cities around the world are switching to LED (light-emitting diode) lights as a way to save both energy and money. Converting Worcester street lights to LEDs will result in considerable savings.

One of the main reasons for such savings is that LEDs have a significantly longer life expectancy than other types of lights, resulting in fewer replacements and lower costs associated with maintenance.

In December 2014, the City signed Implementation Amendment #4 with Honeywell International for the following projects, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2017:

In 2014 (fiscal), Worcester street lights consumed about 9.5 million kWh (=33,000 million BTUs) and comprised 16% of the total municipal electrical consumption, costing the City ~$780,400!

1. The Lighting Retrofit of City's Streetlights - LED lighting upgrades for all ~14,000 City-owned streetlights, to be done in 9 phases. The Lighting Retrofit of City's Streetlights via conversion to LEDs is expected to save ~$910,000 a year in electrical costs – a reduction of 60%! The savings are based on much lower wattage of the LED fixtures, reduction in annual maintenance costs (for such services as lamp routine maintenance, knockdown, takedown, street light outage, and more), and more accurate metering of the electricity usage. Click here to learn more about project's progress!

2. The Lighting Retrofit of Municipal Garages - LED lighting upgrades at four municipal parking garages:

    • City Hall Garage (455 Main Street) - Progress: Completed
    • Federal Plaza Garage (564 Main Street) - Progress: Completed
    • Thomas Street Garage (aka Major Taylor Municipal Garage) (93 Thomas Drive) - Progress: Completed
    • Union Station Garage (205 Franklin Street) - Progress: Completed

This portion of the project is expected to save ~$89,000 a year in electrical costs!

LED Lights' efficiency stems mainly from their design – as an electrical current passes through semiconductor material, it illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs (light emitting diodes). The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink. By comparison, older types of lights waste a lot of energy through considerable heat loss (they are hot to the touch!).

Other significant benefits to the City’s budget and the environment include:

    • Energy Cost-Savings
    • Maintenance Cost-Savings
    • Extended Lifecycle
    • Reduced Carbon Emissions
    • Reduced Light Pollution at Night
    • Lighting Quality
    • Greater Perceived Security