[ News Release picture montage ]

For immediate release: March 14, 2002
Media Contact: Rob Schlichting - 916-654-4989

California 'Green Lights' Energy Savings
With New Traffic Signals


SACRAMENTO - New, brighter, more energy efficient traffic lights are appearing throughout California, a result of efforts taken to prevent last year's electricity crisis. Because of the new signals, 80 different local agencies are saving money on their electric bills, California's electricity supply is a little more secure, and over 13,000 intersections nearly a third of the intersections in the State are safer than they were a year ago.

The California Energy Commission reports that, through its program offering loans and grants to local agencies, over 236,780 old incandescent red, green and amber traffic signals, along with pedestrian walk and don't-walk signals, have been replaced with new lamps that use light emitting diodes (LEDs). The new LED lights reduce the State's need for electricity by nearly 10 megawatts enough electricity to power nearly 10,000 typical California homes. That means the electricity saved by LED traffic signals alone could supply all the homes of a California town the size of Benicia, Folsom, Claremont or Imperial Beach.

Instead of a single incandescent light bulb, the new LED lights feature a number of smaller lights assembled in one unit. Together, the numerous pinpoints of light from an LED lamp are brighter than a comparable incandescent lamp, and as much as 80 percent more energy efficient. While traditional incandescent traffic lamps use between 69 and 150 watts each, LED lights use between 10 and 25 watts, depending on size, color and type. That reduced electricity demand should save the 80 public agencies participating in the Energy Commission's LED traffic signal replacement program an estimated $7.9 million every year on their electricity costs.

LEDs provide other cost benefits as well. When an incandescent traffic signal lamp fails, it burns out all at once, and incandescents typically need to be replaced every two years. The numerous pinpoints of light in an LED lamp, on the other hand, don't all burn out at the same time, and LED lamps can have a lifespan of up to ten years. Fewer burned out traffic signals means safer intersections, an important improvement in public safety. Agencies that have installed LEDs have discovered additional savings in traffic signal maintenance and lamp replacement costs because highway crews need to replace burned-out traffic signals less frequently. As an additional safety feature, brighter LED lights are more visible in foggy conditions.

To date, State grants and loans for the replacement program total nearly $22 million. Funds for the program were provided by Assembly Bill 970 and AB29X, landmark emergency legislation designed to cut electricity use in 2001; and the Energy Conservation Assistance Act and the Local Jurisdiction Account, two existing programs which authorize the Energy Commission to issue loans to local governments for installing energy-conserving equipment.

# # #

Note to Editors: A list of cities, towns and local agencies that have benefited from the Energy Commission's LED replacement program is available below.

APPLICANT TOTAL PROJECT COST TOTAL LOAN/ GRANT REQUESTED
Caltrans $5,388,855 $2,593,360
City and County of San Francisco $1,999,989 $1,999,989
City and County of San Francisco $1,627,983 $1,627,983
City of Alameda $411,755 $196,380
City of Anaheim $773,608 $305,860
City of Auburn $300,000 $270,480
City of Azusa $37,922 $29,060
City of Baldwin Park $199,332 $82,650
City of Bell Gardens $142,598 $85,825
City of Bellflower $195,000 $195,000
City of Belmont $26,326 $20,000
City of Berkeley $237,253 $237,253
City of Carpinteria $23,884 $9,010
City of Carson $140,726 $140,726
City of Chino Hills $125,630 $70,940
City of Citrus Heights $242,883 $99,070
City of Costa Mesa $137,839 $90,850
City of Cudahy $50,870 $31,775
City of Culver City $403,000 $403,000
City of El Centro $74,858 $86,024
City of Elk Grove $66,660 $35,990
City of Escondido $310,641 $145,550
City of Escondido $112,570 $310,641
City of Eureka $98,508 $47,460
City of Folsom $59,181 $12,223
City of Fontana $450,000 $450,000
City of Gardena $539,662 $539,662
City of Glendale $834,040 $416,960
City of Hanford $60,500 $80,658
City of Hesperia $71,496 $40,470
City of Indio $140,000 $140,000
City of Lancaster $74,219 $35,940
City of Long Beach #1 $274,874 $136,777
City of Long Beach #2 $1,078,829 $590,000
City of Manteca $140,726 $140,726
City of Maywood $44,902 $43,985
City of Mission Viejo $291,200 $93,310
City of Modesto $300,400 $267,500
City of Moorpark $54,068 $38,960
City of Moreno Valley $107,690 $60,500
City of Napa $93,855 $42,353
City of Palm Springs $418,250 $192,000
City of Palo Alto $681,399 $224,700
City of Paramount $159,744 $94,180
City of Pasadena $137,563 $76,060
City of Pasadena $70,060 $152,084
City of Porterville $28,657 $7,635
City of Rancho Mirage $132,215 $66,760
City of Redding $575,000 $197,420
City of Redding $466,310 $617,502
City of Redlands $415,000 $415,000
City of Rosemead $151,690 $120,910
City of Roseville $628,482 $358,860
City of Sacramento $275,150 $117,000
City of San Buenaventura $294,627 $270,000
City of San Buenaventura $195,737 $96,050
City of San Diego $2,625,194 $1,436,580
City of San Gabriel $99,640 $53,400
City of San Marcos $263,678 $135,760
City of Santa Barbara $345,800 $161,135
City of Santa Clara $393,088 $147,000
City of Sebastopol $21,187 $7,550
City of Sebastopol $13,637 $21,187
City of Simi Valley $129,145 $80,700
City of South Gate $233,090 $134,070
City of South Gate $99,020 $349,908
City of Temecula $406,596 $140,870
City of Torrance $52,775 $31,500
City of Victorville $289,654 $136,000
City of Westlake Village $221,000 $221,000
City of Westminster $129,461 $69,310
County of Monterey $66,808 $26,050
County of Riverside Transportation Department $614,300 $614,300
County of Sacramento $73,576 $45,800
County of Santa Barbara $215,853 $109,330
LADWP - Los Angeles $9,313,098 $1,451,377
Riverside Public Utilities $2,346,605 $732,240
Santa Clara County $297,043 $118,610
Town of Apple Valley $74,330 $46,120
Town of San Anselmo $105,870 $105,870
Town of Woodside $3,000 $750
Total Amount Total Projects Costs
$40,883,357
Total Requested
$21,703,171


| News Releases Main Page | Commission Homepage | Site Index | Search Site | Links | Glossary | Contact Us |