- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Announces New Partnerships for Municipal LED Streetlight Conversion Program
Lowell — September 25, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced more than $4.3 million in grants for new partnerships with 40 cities and towns to help convert traditional streetlights to LED technology.
The partnerships between the municipalities, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will be funded through DOER’s $11.4 million Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program launched in December 2016. DOER has partnered with MAPC, the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), Energy New England (ENE), and four Municipal Light Plant (MLP) communities to administer the grant funding to municipalities that currently own their traditional streetlights and expedite streetlight conversions. This regionalized approach has led to an overall installation cost reduction of up to 35% in communities where streetlight conversions are already underway. The grants were awarded by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton at an event in Lowell.
“Continuing to investing in LED streetlight conversions will lead to more reduced energy costs and better road safety for motorists and pedestrians across Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The strong partnership between the Commonwealth and our regional planning authorities and municipal light plants helps maximize the positive benefits of this grant funding.”
“Converting municipally owned streetlights into energy efficient LEDs helps cities and towns across the Commonwealth realize thousands of dollars in annual energy savings while reducing emissions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “LED streetlights reduce energy usage during peak demand times, lessening the burden on our regional electric grid and reducing costs for all ratepayers.”
LED streetlights are more energy efficient and longer-lasting than other common street lighting technologies; converting saves cities and towns money both on their electric bills and in operations and maintenance. LEDs offer a number of other advantages as well, including improved visibility, reduced light pollution, and the ability to install advanced controls such as dimming, remote control, and Wi-Fi capability. DOER’s partner organizations, with guidance from the agency, will procure streetlights in bulk on behalf of participating cities and towns, reducing the up-front cost of conversion.
“Governor Baker’s Executive Order on climate change strategy emphasizes the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy usage and emissions in order to prepare for the effects of climate change across Massachusetts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By converting tens of thousands of streetlights from traditional bulbs to highly efficient LEDs, the Commonwealth and our municipal partners will take another important step towards meeting our Global Warming Solutions Act emissions reduction goals.”
“Traditional streetlights have a major impact on peak demand during the winter months, with the sun setting earlier and rising later, which increases the demand on our regional energy grid,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “Our municipal partners across the Commonwealth will once again lead the charge for greater energy efficiency that will result in reduced costs, usage, and emissions across Massachusetts.”
The following municipalities have entered into contracts with MAPC to fund streetlight replacements:
“MAPC is pleased that the program funding, in conjunction with our technical assistance, will support over 40 municipalities statewide to retrofit over 70,000 streetlights at lower prices,” said Rebecca Davis, Deputy Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). “Over the years, MAPC has helped numerous communities to reap clean energy benefits, and is eager to continue its collective purchasing efforts through the program to achieve significant reductions in cost, energy usage, and greenhouse gas emissions and to advance smart-city innovations.”
Massachusetts ratepayers will also see benefits from converting the Commonwealth’s streetlights to LED models, in addition to the direct benefits that cities and towns receive. Streetlights are operational during early morning and late afternoon during the winter months. These are hours of peak electric demand, and high demand for natural gas for both electric generation and home heating during these hours leads to higher energy prices. Converting streetlights to LED technology, which uses up to 60% less energy than standard streetlights, can decrease demand and lead to lower prices.
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito administration for their outstanding streetlight conversion grant program that will help municipalities transition from traditional streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr., Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “The City of Lowell stands to receive significant gains from the conversion, including municipal savings, improved visibility for drivers and pedestrians, and lower emissions.”
“With current and future amenities like the Gallagher Terminal, LeLacheur Park, Lowell National Historical Park, the Merrimack, and South Common, Lowell knows that greening a city makes it both more pleasant and attracts spending from outside our borders to boost our coffers,” said State Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell). “The Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program represents a smart investment in our sustainable economic future. I applaud the Commonwealth for taking small but significant steps, like converting lights to LED, and will continue to fight for making the bigger changes we need as well.”
“Lowell is enlightened by the Municipal LED Streetlight Conversion Program. Our city has always been on the forefront of progressive planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said State Representative Rady Mom (D-Lowell). “With LED streetlights, our city will not only have long term savings on our electric bills, but our streets will be safer and our residence can look to a brighter future.”
“The new LED streetlights will not only make our streets safer, but will also save the city a substantial amount in electrical costs,” said State Representative David Nangle (D-Lowell). “I applaud Governor Baker and his energy team for partnering with our cities and towns in funding and promoting these innovative streetlight conversions.”
“The City of Lowell has been committed to energy efficiency since it became one of the first designated Green Communities in 2010,” said Lowell City Manager Kevin J. Murphy. “This project will help us to continue to build on our commitment to our community by reducing energy costs by $390,000 annually and greenhouse gas emissions by over 1700 metric tons.”
Last year, Governor Baker signed an Executive Order which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.