For immediate release: September 17, 1999
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler - 916-654-4989

New Traffic Lights Cut County's Electricity Costs

Thanks to the help of state government and the local municipal utility, Sacramento County will replace existing incandescent red traffic signals with new, more energy efficient modules at 118 intersections. The change should save the county $67,000 a year in electricity costs.

The California Energy Commission is providing the County with a $105,000 low-interest loan to convert the red traffic lights to light emitting diodes (LEDs) that cut electricity use by 80 to 90 percent. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) also will provide the county with $100,000 in matching funds for the project.

"The County can repay the Commission's loan in about a year and a half, just from the energy savings alone," said California Energy Commissioner Robert Pernell. "Plus, the new LED stop lights will save Sacramento County money in other ways. Since LEDs last longer and don't have to be replaced as frequently, they reduce maintenance costs."

The entire cost of the project is $205,000.

"We helped the City of Citrus Heights install 48 of these new signal lights almost a year ago and they've been saving money and electricity ever since," said SMUD General Manager Jan Schori. "This project with Sacramento County is another example of how a municipal utility like SMUD can work with its customers to reduce costs and save energy."

"This signal conversion project exemplifies the positive results gained from cooperative efforts," agreed Muriel Johnson, chair of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. "Sacramento County appreciates the California Energy Commission and SMUD for making these funds available to local government agencies to save on our energy and maintenance costs."

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