Energy Solutions conducted a series of performance assessments of light emitting diode (LED) streetlights over the course of a multi-year contract with PG&E’s Emerging Technologies Program. These pioneering assessments were conducted in cities across the San Francisco Bay Area and were undertaken in conjunction with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) GATEWAY Demonstrations Program. Both PG&E and the DOE utilized the results of Energy Solutions’ evaluations in their efforts to accelerate consumer adoption of this new energy saving technology.
In each city, LED streetlights provided satisfactory lighting performance and saved the cities energy and money. Findings from the evaluations contributed to PG&E developing a streetlight LED rebate program. PG&E also created a turnkey LED streetlight replacement service to assist municipalities with the design and installation of LED streetlights. The cities of San Francisco and San Jose are also planning to retrofit their entire street lighting fleets after considering the results of the demonstration projects.
Technical innovation is essential to continued gains in energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions. However, taking a new technology from the laboratory to market is a formidable challenge. Utilities and consumers are presented with a wide range of technology options that often have little or no objective review. With new LED technologies emerging regularly, it is critical that information on their performance is carefully gathered and analyzed. Demonstration projects and performance assessments give utilities and consumers the information they need in order to evaluate and select the best technologies.
Energy Solutions monitored, collected, and analyzed performance data on several groundbreaking LED streetlight demonstration projects. To guarantee a comprehensive assessment, Energy Solutions tracked energy performance, lighting performance and economic performance of the technology. Qualitative satisfaction based on municipal and customer feedback was also recorded. Energy Solutions also established a new methodology for undertaking and analyzing results from the demonstrations. This methodology has since been adopted by others conducting performance evaluations. The results of these assessments are currently available on the DOE’s GATEWAY Program website and the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council website.
These assessments have become an important contribution to the body of research that is spurring the commercial growth of LED streetlights. The DOE’s website provides broad access to the results of the studies, which increases awareness of advanced lighting technologies and flattens the learning curve for implementation of LEDs in outdoor settings. The latest area of investigation focuses on evaluating the benefits of networked control of streetlights. Initial assessments suggest there are additional benefits to be realized from controls applied to streetlights.
- Understanding of energy savings potential – The evaluations provide a firm understanding of LED performance, which informs incentive programs and consumer decisions.
- Reduced costs to municipalities – LED streetlights saved cities money in the form of lower electricity bills and reduced maintenance costs.
- Increased awareness and improved capabilities – The studies published on the DOE’s website are a resource for other municipalities, who can leverage the findings to make more informed purchasing decisions.
- Manufacturers and distributors can use studies to support their sales efforts.