For Immediate Release: January 19, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989


Carpinteria switches to LED street lighting to cut energy costs

To save on energy bills, cities around the nation are setting their sights on a familiar target - high-pressure sodium vapor street lights and replacing them with light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Because of their daylight-like brightness, LED lighting promotes neighborhood safety at night while trimming the energy use and maintenance costs of local governments converting from traditional lighting.

Carpinteria is already benefitting from a recent street lighting upgrade funded by a block grant from federal stimulus funds. The upgrade will enable the Santa Barbara County city to cut costs without shedding essential services.

The project replaced 199 city-owned street lights, those ubiquitous orange high-pressure sodium (HPS) 138-watt variety with brighter 29-watt LED fixtures on several blocks of Linden and Carpinteria Avenues.

Lower wattage from the LED lights will result in immediate savings of 96,000 kWh, or $11,600 in energy bills every year. The city will also reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 33 tons of CO2 annually. The city expects to save on maintenance costs as well because the LED bulbs are expected to be far more reliable than the HPS bulbs they replaced.

Completed in November of last year, the project involved the purchase and installation of LEDs by the city's maintenance staff. It was funded with a $74,177 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Total project cost was $78,580.04.

Administered by the California Energy Commission, the EECBG program is intended to assist small cities and counties in their energy efficiency efforts.

All street lights in Carpinteria are city-owned. With the upgrade, the city has replaced over 90 percent of the traditional city-owned street lights to LEDs. City officials are targeting to replace the rest as soon as more funds become available.

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Federal stimulus funds to small cities and counties awarded under the ARRA's Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) and administered by the Energy Commission are providing more than $33 million to 201 eligible localities throughout California. Large cities and counties are receiving funding directly from the US DOE. For more information about ARRA funded programs, click on:

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.