For Immediate Release: 09/09/21
John B. Howard, Chair
James Denn | James.Denn@dps.ny.gov | (518) 474-7080
21090 / 21-E-0307; 21-E-0306; 21-E-0302;
21-E-0310; 21-E-0275; 21-E-0301; 21-E-0294
September 09, 2021
PSC Approves Energy Efficient Streetlighting Sale to 7 Upstate Municipalities
11,273 Streetlights Sold to Municipalities Will Enable Installation of More Energy-Efficient,
LED Street Lighting Up to 65 Percent More Efficient Than Traditional Lights
Reducing Power Consumption Combats Climate Change
More than 50 Municipalities Have Participated in the Streetlight Purchase Initiative
ALBANY — The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) today, as part of its continuing work to reduce municipal energy consumption across the State, approved separate requests to sell utility-owned streetlights to seven municipalities in upstate New York totaling $7.5 million. With the change in ownership, the municipalities can control street-lighting and install their own state-of-the-art energy efficient lights to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment.
“The Commission has championed municipal government efficiency and encouraged municipalities to have greater control over their energy usage,” said Commission Chair John B. Howard. “Implementing LED streetlighting options can play an important role in helping the State achieve its clean-energy goals in support of New York’s nation-leading clean energy initiatives.”
In 2015, the Public Service Law was amended to establish procedures to facilitate the transfer of ownership of complete street-lighting systems to municipalities or other government entities. With the change in ownership, municipalities take control of street-lighting and have the option to install state-of-the-art, energy efficient lights and new technologies to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment by reducing energy consumption. Including today’s decisions, the Commission has approved the sale of over 84,734 streetlights to 51 municipalities. The total value of these streetlights is more than $56.8 million.
Energy efficiency lights, known as LEDs or light-emitting diodes, use significantly less energy than traditional street-lighting. The adoption of LED-lighting can save municipalities up to 65 percent of electricity costs for street-lighting.
LED-related energy savings can contribute significantly to the State’s energy and environmental goals. In fact, if all of the State’s streetlights were converted to LEDs, the energy savings potential is estimated to be enough electricity for 75,000 average-sized houses. Financial savings could be as great as $28 million per year. Given the opportunity for savings, municipalities across the State have been showing interest in either buying utility-owned streetlighting facilities with the intention of converting to LEDs or working with utilities to convert the utility-owned streetlights within their respective jurisdictions.
For an average municipality, streetlights may account for up to 40 percent of total local government electric energy consumption. Pursuing LED conversions allows local governments to lower municipal energy expenditures while lowering overall emissions from the energy sector, furthering the State’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.
The streetlight sales approved today by the Commission are as follows:
Today’s decisions may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Numbers 21-E-0307 (City of Troy); 21-E-0306 (Town of Colonie); 21-E-0302 (City of Cohoes); 21-E-0310 (Albany County); 21-E-0275 (Village of Voorheesville); 21-E-0301 (Village of Newfield); or 21-E-0294 (Village of Liverpool) in the input box labeled "Search for Case/Matter Number". Many libraries offer free Internet access. Commission documents may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500). If you have difficulty understanding English, please call us at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this press release.