Public Service Commission Approves Street Lighting Sale to Three Municipalities

Nearly 700 Street Lights to be Sold to Three Upstate Municipalities for Over $183,000 Enabling Installation of More Energy-Efficient and Affordable Lighting

Energy Efficient LED Street Lighting is up to 65% More Efficient Than Traditional Options

Since 2015, New York Municipalities Have Purchased Over 45,500 Street Lights With a Value of Nearly $16 million

Albany — The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission), as part of its continuing effort to reduce municipal energy consumption across the State, approved separate requests to sell utility-owned street lights to three municipalities: the Town of Red Hook (Dutchess County), the Town of Skaneateles (Onondaga County), and the Town of Rosendale (Ulster Country). With the change in ownership, the municipalities now have the option to take control of street lighting and install their own state-of-the-art energy efficient lights to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment.

“The Commission encourages municipalities to install energy-efficient street lighting. With each installation, taxpayers directly benefit by lowering municipal expenditures for energy,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “Energy efficient street lights are another arrow in the quiver of policy solutions put forward by Governor Cuomo to combat climate change.”

The Town of Red Hook will purchase 251 street lights and associated facilities from the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation (Central Hudson), the Town of Skaneateles will purchase 268 street lights and associated facilities from National Grid, and the Town of Rosendale will purchase 166 street lights and associated facilities from Central Hudson. In addition to today’s approvals, the Commission is also seeking public comment on New York Electric & Gas’ petition to sell 1,094 streetlights to the City of Oneonta, and National Grid’s petition to sell 288 streetlights to the Village of Cazenovia. Likewise, the public comment period recently ended for Orange & Rockland’s petition to sell 242 streetlights to the Town of Warwick, and their petition to sell 400 streetlights to the Village of Nyack.

In 2015 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation amending the Public Service Law to establish procedures for the transfer of ownership of complete street lighting systems to municipalities or other government entities. With the change in ownership, municipalities take control of street lighting and have the opportunity to install state-of-the-art, energy efficient lights and new technologies to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment. Since that time, the Commission has approved the sale of over 45,500 street lights to 22 municipalities. The total value of these street lights is nearly $16 million.

City of Syracuse new LED Lighting with options

Approximately one million municipal street lights across the State may still be converted to more energy efficient technology upon Commission approval. This number includes both utility- and customer-owned street lights. The latest energy efficiency lights, known as LED or light-emitting diodes, use significantly less energy than traditional street lighting. The adoption of LED-lighting can save municipalities up to 65 percent of their electricity costs for street lighting.

For an average municipality, street lights may account for up to 40 percent of total local government electric energy consumption. Pursuing conversions allows local governments to lower municipal energy expenditures while also advancing the State’s efforts to lead on climate change by lowering overall emissions from the energy sector.

LED-related energy savings can contribute significantly to the State’s energy and environmental goals. In fact, 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. Given the opportunity for savings, municipalities across the State have been showing interest in either buying utility-owned street light facilities with the intention of converting to LED or working with utilities to convert utility-owned street lighting.

Today’s decisions may be obtained by going to the Commission Documents section of the Commission’s Web site at www.dps.ny.gov and entering Case Numbers 18-E-0326; 19-E-0043; or 19-E-0064 in the input box labeled “Search for Case/Matter Number”. Many libraries offer free Internet access.