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New York State sells streetlights to cut energy costs

The New York State Public Service Commission has approved separate requests to sell utility-owned streetlights to three municipalities: Town of West Seneca (Erie County); the Village of Horseheads (Chemung County); and the Town of Clarkstown (Rockland County).

Photo by Adnan Islam/ Flickr
Photo by Adnan Islam/ Flickr

The move is part of a continuing effort to lower municipal energy costs across the State.

With the change in ownership, the municipalities take control of the lighting on their own streets and have the opportunity to install their own state-of-the-art energy efficient lights to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment, if they so choose.

“Governor Cuomo has long-been a powerful champion on the need for local government efficiency,” said Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman.

“As part of that important effort, the Commission encourages municipalities to install energy-efficient street lighting. With each installation, taxpayers directly benefit by lowering municipal expenditures and reducing energy costs. As an added bonus, energy-saving streetlights advance the State’s clean energy goals by lowering overall emissions.”

Approximately 1.4 million municipal streetlights across the State have the potential to be addressed by a strategic street lighting strategy. This number includes both utility- and customer-owned streetlights.

A recent study on the latest energy efficiency lights, known as LED or light-emitting diodes, found that LED-technology uses significantly less energy than traditional street lighting.

The adoption of LED-lighting can save municipalities up to 60 percent of their electricity costs for street lighting.

In its decisions, the Commission approved New York State Electric and Gas Corporation’s sale of its street lights to West Seneca for $804,866 and to Horseheads for $79,385. In addition, the Commission approved Orange & Rockland Utilities to sell its street lights to Clarkstown for $691,619.

LED-related energy savings can contribute significantly to the state’s energy and environmental goals.

If all of the State’s street lighting were converted to LED fixtures the energy savings potential is estimated to be enough electricity for 75,000 average-sized houses. Financial savings could be as great as $28 million per year.

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