2014

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
  • Amerlux
  • Arizona Public Service Co
  • Cooper Lighting
  • Cree
  • Detroit Edison
  • Dialight
  • Duke Energy
  • Duralight
  • Echelon
  • Ecofit
  • ESL Spectrum
  • GE
  • Georgia Power
  • Global Green Lighting
  • Greenstar
  • Holophane
  • Kansas City Light & Power
  • Kim
  • King
  • LED Roadway
  • Leotek
  • Lighting Science
  • LSI
  • Omega Pacific
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Portland General Electric
  • Progress Energy
  • Ringdale
  • San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Schreder
  • Sensus
  • Southern California Edison
  • Sternberg
  • Sylvania

SOURCE Northeast Group, LLC



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