The city of Los Angeles intends to retrofit 140,000 streetlights with LED light bulbs. If successful, this will be the nation’s largest lighting retrofit, and it comes with a price tag of about $57 million.
With nearly 35 million streetlights in the United States, it’s estimated that they use 1% of all the electricity is consumed nationwide.
The initiative was announced in Los Angeles by former President Bill Clinton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. That’s because LA is getting help with the retrofit from the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Outdoor Lighting Program. Part of the funding also comes from a $14 million rebate from the Department of Water and Power. The Clinton Climate Initiative has become an increasingly active arm of the Clinton Global Initiative.
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“If you have ever been to Death Valley National Park and looked up on a clear night, you would see that the stars seem to be dimmer than they were when I was a child. But they are not getting dimmer, really–the rest of the sky is getting brighter because of all the lights from Los Angeles and Las Vegas and other surrounding cities and communities,” President Clinton said.
“This is the best place in the world — in the U.S. at least — to lead this,” Clinton went on to say, citing the city’s ongoing environmental efforts. “This is like taking 6,000 cars off the road. “If every major city followed your lead, we could eliminate 2 1/2 coal-fired power plants.”
Once the overhaul is complete, the city will get an energy savings of about 40-percent and reduce carbon emissions by 40 tons/year. It is expected this will save the city $48 million, and reduce carbon emissions by 197,000 tons, over a seven year period.
The program is scheduled to start in June. Initially 20,000 bulbs will be replaced, and 30,000 with each following year.
While the program will start before New York City’s own efforts to provide LED streetlights, but NYC hopes to replace up to 300,000 streetlights with LEDs. Oh snap!