For Immediate Release: March 13, 2012
Media Contact: Percy D. Della - 916-654-4989


East Palo Alto lights its way to savings

Lighting Makeover to Save More Than $12,000 Annually

These days, East Palo Alto nights are bathed in a radiant, whitish glow.

The San Mateo County city has switched 40 percent of its total streetlights to light emitting diode (LED fixtures. With federal stimulus funds and rebates from Pacific Gas & Electric Company, East Palo Alto has installed 394 LED streetlights in various city streets. These include Pulgas Avenue, Runnymede Street, Weeks Street, Garden Street, Bell Street, Dunbarton Avenue, Menalito Avenue, Newbridge Street and Bay Road.

The city's engineering division hopes to replace the rest of East Palo Alto's currently prevalent, energy intensive, and high-pressure sodium streetlights to LEDs in the project's second phase as more funds become available.

The LEDs will not only address inadequate lighting in some neighborhoods. Since they are known to last up to four times more than the traditional high-pressure sodium street lights, LEDs will help the city cut its energy and maintenance costs while reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

The total outlay for the project, completed earlier this year was $198,343 -- with $179,868 coming from the California Energy Commission-administered Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The rest of the project's cost came in the form of $18,475 in rebates from PG&E.

East Palo Alto's street lighting makeover is projected to save 95,378 kilowatt hours or $9,942 in energy bills annually and $2,639 in avoided maintenance cost for the project's first year.

With the switch to LEDs, East Palo Alto is also expected to trim its carbon footprint by 26 tons of CO2 emissions every year in line with its climate action plan.

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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 to 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.