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LED Street Light Conversion

Municipality: Binghamton
County: Broome County
Population: 50,000 +
Type: City

2017 Local Government Achievement Award

City Hall: (607) 772-7001

The City of Binghamton completed a $4 million project to convert approximately 7,000 of its municipal street lights to LED technology. The city negotiated the purchase of street lights within its borders to eliminate $100,000 in annual lease payments to New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG). That agreement allowed the city to expedite its LED conversion project, already owning the lights that would be upgraded.

The city partnered with Johnson Controls, a global technology solutions firm, to manage the planning and installation of the LED bulbs. The firm initiated a study and review of all municipal lighting including GPS mapping of all street lights, calculations and analysis to determine energy savings, and exploring LED replacement technology, fixtures and retrofits. City officials and Johnson Controls negotiated new tariff agreements and finalized rebates with NYSEG.

In June 2015, the first pilot LED lights were installed in three test areas of the city to facilitate troubleshooting and allow residents to see a side-by-side comparison of the lighting difference. In November 2015, full-scale implementation began to convert 7,000 street lights to LED technology. The conversion was completed by February 2016.

The energy and maintenance cost savings are expected to more than pay for the project’s annual debt service. The city also secured a $700,000 rebate through NYSEG for the project. The LED conversion project restored power to 10% of the city’s street lights which had been inoperable. Each bulb is expected to provide 100,000 hours, or 20 years, worth of light.

The LED conversion project will save 40-50% on street lighting electricity costs. In 2014, the city spent roughly $1.8 million on electricity expenses. Of that, $729,403 was spent on street lighting. In 15 years, the city will save $5.2 million in electricity and $1 million in maintenance costs. The electricity and maintenance cost savings will lower the tax burden on residents by roughly $350,000, equal to a 1% property tax reduction for homeowners.