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Friday, September 3, 2010

Pittsburgh Street Lights Update

Yesterday, Pittsburgh moved one step closer to its dream of converting all of its 40,000 street lights to energy efficient doppelgangers. The city received an $816,000 grant which will pay for upgrading about 3,000 street lights.

The first phase of the conversion, involving about 3,000 lights in 30 neighborhood business districts, will save about $110,000 in energy and maintenance costs each year. An estimate of the energy savings in phase one was not provided.

My back-of-the-envelope calculations bring that in at an 8-year payback period. Not too shabby. From informal polling of the South Side light experiment and a University of Pittsburgh recommendation, the city will be going forward with LED lights in the conversion. According to the Pitt study, the city should save about $1.7 Million per year on energy and maintenance costs when all the lights are converted (about 40% of the current cost).


ioguasf564 said...

Such an endeavor has been long waiting. There are various inefficiencies within the municipal electrical system which needs to be addressed. We have left the dark ages therefore it would not be wise to regress do the dark side by rejecting progress for the sake of the “green people”. In other words, let’s not use vegetable oil to light streets of Pittsburgh.

I am impressed that the a city which is historically representative of the industrial revolution and all of its decadent, pollutant attitudes towards the environment in the 19th century is now leading the way towards a resource energy compliant municipality.

It is important to discuss how to spread this momentum towards other cities. Keep up the good work PA; the Luddites would commend your efforts.

Orsolya Magyar said...

As this article shows, we spend a lot of money on electricity. Renewable energy is the best solution to reduce our electiric bills. A solar rebate gives as a chance to own it at a reasonable price.