New Survey: 95% of US Cities Satisfied with LED Streetlights and Saving Nearly 60% in Costs
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Among cities and municipalities in the United States that have implemented Light-Emitting Diode (LED) streetlight projects, 95% were satisfied with the overall performance of the streetlights. The more efficient LED streetlights were found to save on average nearly 60% in combined energy and maintenance costs, according to a new survey published today by Washington, DC-based research firm Northeast Group, LLC. The firm surveyed nearly 100 cities and municipalities across the US that have implemented some form of LED streetlight initiatives. The results were published today in the new study “United States Smart Infrastructure: LED and Smart Street Lighting.”
“LED streetlights are transforming cities and municipalities across the US,” said Northeast Group. “Not only are LEDs helping save money through reduced energy and maintenance costs, but 95% of the cities and municipalities we surveyed said both they and residents were very happy with the performance and light quality of the new streetlights. Many reported that law enforcement officials in particular had praised the lights for improving visibility and public safety. The success of these LED projects is also helping to set the stage for more advanced ‘smart’ street lighting systems, which will reduce energy consumption by a further 20-30%. In total, the LED and smart street lighting markets are expected to reach a cumulative $4.7 billion in the US by 2025.”
But there are also some challenges facing the market. The survey revealed that 45% of the respondents had funded their LED streetlight projects almost entirely with stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). A further 36% relied on ARRA funding or other grants for at least a portion of their financing. As this stimulus funding recedes, financing for future LED streetlight projects has been more difficult to secure, despite the success of early projects. However, the price of LED streetlights is steadily falling and on track to hit parity with legacy technology within a few years. As a result, the payback period for these projects is becoming more favorable and within the reaches of budget-constrained cities and municipalities. As the LED streetlight business case continues to improve, the number of projects is expected to expand rapidly in the coming years.
Northeast Group’s study identified nearly 400 US cities and municipalities that had either already begun or had considered installing LED streetlights. After conducting interviews with nearly 100 of them, the survey was able to draw conclusions such as the actual savings captured by pilot projects and full deployments, the public reaction, the most common financing mechanisms, and the vendors serving this market. Northeast Group found that over 25 vendors were already active in the US LED streetlight market and that, with expected strong growth, the market will continue to attract many vendors offering diverse solutions.
“Perhaps the most surprising finding in our survey was that most cities had only converted a small percentage of their streetlights to LEDs, even though they’ve been extremely popular,” added Northeast Group. “It was hard to find any detractors from these projects, yet LED penetration remains below 1% of the overall streetlight population in the US. Certainly, some hurdles, such as financing, remain. But overall these findings show that the market has vast growth potential.”
In addition to consuming less energy and reducing maintenance costs, LED streetlights also turn on and off nearly instantly and have dimming capability. This enables cities to install “smart” features to the streetlights, which further reduce energy consumption through dimming, improve billing, and enable remote monitoring features. Cities that have already installed communications networks for related smart grid infrastructure can take advantage of existing installations to lower overall costs.
“Smart streetlights are the logical next step,” according to Northeast Group. “Current pilot projects such as in Chattanooga, Tennessee have demonstrated that smart streetlights improve safety while lowering costs. As more cities invest in LED streetlights and smart grid infrastructure, smart streetlights will help cities further reduce energy consumption. A majority of the cities in our survey were interested in pursuing smart streetlight systems in the future.”
Northeast Group’s study provides full survey results and analysis, forecasts to 2025 for the LED and smart streetlight markets, detailed cost-benefit analyses, and profiles of the leading vendors. It also includes detailed case studies of the largest and most successful projects. The study is 120 pages long and includes over 80 charts, tables, and graphics. The study was completed using both primary and secondary sources, including a survey of nearly 100 cities and municipalities. The study provides valuable insights for those vendors hoping to expand in the US streetlight market and also those cities and municipalities who are considering these types of projects and would like further data and analysis to help make their decisions.
ABOUT: Northeast Group, LLC is a Washington, DC-based smart grid market intelligence firm.
Key questions answered in this study:
- What were the average energy and maintenance cost savings for cities and municipalities implementing LED and smart streetlight projects?
- What are the typical break-even periods for these projects?
- What are the primary financing mechanisms for these deployments?
- How large will the LED and smart streetlight markets be through 2025?
- Who are the leading vendors in the US LED market and who is poised to lead the growing smart streetlight market?
- Which cities are leading the way in smart streetlight installations and how can other cities emulate them?
- How will smart streetlights fit into larger smart infrastructure plans?
Table of Contents i. Executive summary 1 ii. Methodology 9 1. Introduction to smart infrastructure 12 1.1 What makes infrastructure "smart?" 12 1.2 Smart infrastructure applications 14 1.3 How do smart infrastructure applications build on each other? 20 2. Overview of LED and smart streetlight benefits 21 2.1 Background of LED streetlights and comparison to other technologies 21 2.2 Cost savings potential of LEDs 25 2.3 Advanced "smart" lighting features 30 3. Survey analysis: the current status of LED and smart streetlights in the US 38 3.1 Energy and maintenance cost savings from LED streetlights 39 3.2 Financing LED streetlights 42 3.3 Scale of LED streetlight installations 46 3.4 Public reaction to LED streetlights 48 3.5 Interest in "smart" streetlight features 49 4. Contested issues in LED and smart streetlight systems 51 4.1 City vs. utility streetlight ownership 51 4.2 Legal issues involving dimmed streetlights 59 5. Case studies 62 5.1 Chattanooga 62 5.2 Los Angeles 67 5.3 San Jose 69 5.4 Seattle 74 6. LED and smart streetlight market forecast 79 6.1 LED and smart streetlight deployment pace 79 6.2 Cost of LED and smart streetlight deployments 81 6.3 LED streetlight market forecast 82 6.4 Smart streetlight market forecast 85 7. Vendors 90 7.1 Cooper 90 7.2 Cree 91 7.3 Echelon 93 7.4 GE 94 7.5 Global Green Lighting 94 7.6 Holophane 95 7.7 Leotek 96 7.8 LSI 97 7.9 Philips 98 7.10 Schreder 99 7.11 Sensus 100 7.12 Additional vendors 101 8. Conclusion 102 9. Appendix 104 9.1 Cities responding to municipal street lighting survey 104 9.2 Cities identified as having considered LED streetlights 105 9.3 Companies covered in this report 111 9.4 List of acronyms 112 List of Figures, Boxes, and Tables Survey highlights 3-6 LED and smart streetlights: key takeaways 7 Combined LED and smart streetlight market forecast 8 LED and smart streetlight market forecast data 8 Table 1.1: Smart infrastructure market segments 13 Figure 1.1: Smart infrastructure overview 15 Table 1.2: Communications technologies 16 Figure 1.2: Smart grid value chain 17 Table 2.1: LED streetlight benefits 22 Table 2.2: Different types of streetlight luminaires 23 Table 2.3: HPS to LED wattage cross-reference 25 Table 2.4: Payback on Ann Arbor's LED streetlight program 27 Figure 2.1: Payback on Ann Arbor's LED streetlight program 27 Table 2.5: Simple payback on replacement of 4-year HPS streetlights 28 Figure 2.2: Adjusted payback on replacement LED streetlights in Ann Arbor 28 Table 2.6: Simple payback --4-year lifetime HPS replacement and higher energy costs 29 Figure 2.3: Payback on replacement LED streetlights assuming higher energy costs 29 Table 2.7: Summary of payback in LED cost-benefit examples 30 Figure 2.4: Conservative estimate of payback with dimming 33 Table 2.8: Conservative estimate of payback with dimming 33 Figure 2.5: Payback with better scaled dimming 34 Table 2.9: Estimate of payback with better scaled dimming 34 Figure 2.6: Payback with better scaled dimming and higher energy prices 35 Table 2.10: Estimate of payback with better scaled dimming and higher energy prices 35 Table 2.11: Summary of payback in smart lighting cost-benefit examples 37 Figure 3.1: LED streetlight projects in the US 38 Table 3.1: Northeast Group municipal streetlight survey summary 39 Figure 3.2: Average energy savings from LEDs 40 Figure 3.3: Reported energy savings from LEDs 40 Figure 3.4: Cities with access to LED streetlight rates 41 Figure 3.5: LED streetlight financing 43 Figure 3.6: Percentage streetlights converted to LED 47 Figure 3.7: Completion of LED streetlight projects 47 Figure 3.8: Interest in "smart" streetlight features 49 Table 4.1: Streetlight ownership models 52 Figure 4.1: Major investor-owned utilities offering LED rates 53 Box 4.1: Calculating streetlight flat rates at PG&E 55 Box 4.2 Traditional and decoupled rate making 57 Figure 4.2: States with electric decoupling 57 Box 4.3: Hypothetical streetlight decoupling example 58 Figure 4.3: Legal framework for assessing liability of streetlights 60 Table 4.2: Dimming criteria for the standard IESNA RP-8-05 61 Table 5.1: Summary of case studies 64 Table 5.2: Payback on LED and smart systems in Chattanooga 66 Figure 5.1: Payback on Chattanooga's smart streetlight project 66 Table 5.3: Payback on Los Angeles' LED streetlight program 70 Figure 5.2: Payback on Los Angeles' LED streetlight program 70 Table 5.4: Cost breakdown of San Jose's smart lighting system 73 Table 5.5: Payback on San Jose's smart streetlight program 74 Figure 5.3: Payback on San Jose's first 2,100 smart streetlights 74 Table 5.6: Seattle vendor selection cost analysis 76 Figure 5.4: Cost of different streetlight manufacturers in Seattle 76 Figure 5.5: Price per streetlight of Seattle's LED streetlight project 77 Figure 5.6: Payback on Seattle's LED streetlight project 77 Table 5.7: Payback on Seattle's LED streetlight project 78 Figure 6.1: Annual investment in LED and smart streetlights 79 Figure 6.2: Common types of streetlight fixtures 81 Figure 6.3: Price range for different watt LED streetlights in municipal survey 82 Figure 6.4: Average cost of sub-100 W cobra head LED streetlights 82 Figure 6.5: Average cost per streetlight of smart streetlight projects 82 Figure 6.6: Detailed LED streetlight market forecast 83 Table 6.1: LED streetlight forecast data 83 Figure 6.7: LED streetlight penetration rate 84 Table 6.2: LED and smart streetlight market drives and barriers 85 Table 6.3: Smart streetlight forecast data 87 Figure 6.8: Smart streetlight market forecast 87 Figure 7.1: Market share of leading LED streetlight vendors in municipal lighting survey 90 Figure 7.2: LED vendors by number of cities served 91 Table 7.1: Leading LED and smart streetlight vendors 91 Table 7.2: Vendors in largest US LED streetlight projects 92 Table 7.3: Additional vendors in the US LED streetlight market 102
Companies covered in this report
- American Electric Lighting
- Arizona Public Service Co
- Cooper Lighting
- Detroit Edison
- Duke Energy
- ESL Spectrum
- Georgia Power
- Global Green Lighting
- Kansas City Light & Power
- LED Roadway
- Lighting Science
- Omega Pacific
- Pacific Gas & Electric
- Portland General Electric
- Progress Energy
- San Diego Gas & Electric
- Southern California Edison
SOURCE Northeast Group, LLC