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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).