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Home > Environment > Street Lights

Regional Street Lights Program


A report commissioned by the Ford Foundation examined the potential of energy efficient streetlights for reducing the Greater Washington carbon footprint.  The report estimates that there are about 300,000 street lights in the Greater Washington region.  It also estimates that this total consumes 200 million KWh of electricity resulting in an expenditure of $12 million annually.

The Climate Change Steering Committee believes that street lights offer a tremendous opportunity to conserve energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Among the implementation strategies adopted by the COG Board on November 12th is a recommendation to “examine options and develop plans for replacing street lights with energy efficient street lighting (LED or other options) across the region.”

A street lights program integrates new technology by replacing old technology with new energy efficient technology in the application of updating a street lights system.

The following outlines work program elements for a Regional Street Lights Program Initiative.

Implementation Actions to Date

In cooperation with the Greater Washington Board of Trade, staff has pursued implementation of this recommendation.  Specific actions taken include:

  1. Working Group Formed : A Street Lights Work Group has be formed which consisting of representatives from local governments as well as the Greater Washington Board of Trade, COG, Clinton Climate Initiative, and Hannon-Armstrong. Several exploratory meetings have been held.

  2. Survey Questionnaire Issued:  A survey questionnaire was sent to COG members on October 7th, with completion data by October 22nd.  The questionnaire is seeking data on streetlight system ownership, maintenance, costs, procurement and schedule, and existing system design to assist with further implementation of the regional street light recommendations.

 Next Steps/Upcoming Activities

  1. Analyze questionnaire results
  2. Develop Regional Street Lights Action Plan
    1. Identify best practices
    2. Host vendor workshop
    3. Engage electric utilities
  3. Identify and Implement Pilot Demonstrations
  4. Coordinate Implementation with Local Governments
  5. Street Light Vendor's Forum, October 20, 2009

LED Case Studies/Best Management Practices

  1. Oakland, CA - LED Street Lighting Phase III
  2. Oakland, San Fran, Anchorage and Ann Arbor Case Studies
  3. LED Downtown Globe Analysis
  4. Clinton Climate Initiative LA Case Study
  5. LA LED Program


On October 20, 2009 COG will be hosting a street lights vendor forum. The goal of the forum is to demonstrate advancements in energy-efficient street lighting technology, specifically LED technology.

Should you have questions or comments, please e-mail Jeff King.


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