Posted by ROI, a resident of the West of Foothill neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:14 am
Why can't the reporters also provide ROI information. Will the lights never save the city money? Is this only to reduce our carbon footprint? Has the city looked at other ways to offset the carbon footprint without spending so much?
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:28 am
"Why can't the reporters also provide ROI information. Will the lights never save the city money?"
It would have been good if the article provided a link to some more information about the factors that went into the decisions, but I'm pretty sure that the change to LED lighting will pay for itself soon. I switched nearly all of my most frequently used household lights to LED light and have noticed a significant cost savings in electric bills. The LED lights will probably pay for themselves in just a few years. The city should notice a significant savings in their electric lighting bills as well. Also, since LED lights last many years longer than incandescent or halogen or fluorescent or carbon arc lights, the city will also reap a significant savings in maintenance costs by not having to frequently send workers to replace all those lights. Reducing the carbon footprint is just icing on the cake.
Posted by Taxes, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 2:10 pm
Really ?? is that tops on the city's list for spending ?? I hadn't noticed there is a problem. Danbury Park, aside from paying for tar coating their own private streets, also provides and pays for their own street lights, maintance, and lamp replacement. Yet each owner pays full valuation property taxes like every other Pleasanton resident. So although not receiving relief for these capital expenses, they do pay twice.
Considering there aren't many new sources of funding on the horizon, I would hope there is a compelling need for replacement of a system, and not just an enviro idea that after the fact, we learn the savings aren't quite what they were cracked up to be.
Posted by The Mad Hatter, a resident of another community, on Jan 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm
As someone who was involved in the initial LED light testing for the City back in 2009, I'm excited to see the City moving forward on this project. It depends on the final cost the City negotiated for the street lights, but when I was rough calculating the ROI for upgrading the City's lighting system to LED I was getting roughly 5-6 years if you averaged out all the lights in the City (lower wattage lighting typical in residential areas take longer to recover the operating costs, higher wattage typical on arterial streets recover their costs more quickly). This doesn't include cost savings due to reduced maintenance costs.
There are some other great benefits of LED street light technology. First, we were projecting that the typical LED street light could last 10-15 years or longer on average, which would save significant maintenance costs over time and would last much longer than their high pressure sodium counterparts. The lighting "color rendering" is much more color neutral than typical street lights, resulting in street lighting that's easier on the eye and more in line with normal daylight (rather than the yellow/orange glow from standard lights). The initial light levels are a bit lower, but the light distribution on the pavement surface (efficiency) is significantly improved over traditional street lights. The result will be a more even lighting pattern and reduction of the "bright and dark" patterns that typically exist in between street lights. Finally, many of the LED manufacturer's street lights are recessed inside the street light housing, meaning little to no glare into neighboring windows or bedrooms.
Once you see these in place I think you will be very pleasantly surprised and happy on their performance. And while they involve a considerable up front cost, these devices will ultimately save the City millions of dollars over the lifetime of the project. Congrats!
Posted by Citizen, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:51 pm
LED street light levels is significantly lower and there is dimmer distribution. No light and dark areas, just dim. Make sure your vehicle lights are HID so you can see ahead. But the LED street lights do save money. Just not yours when you hit something! Check out Walnut Creek and Concord. More places for night crawlers to hide.
Posted by ROI, a resident of the West of Foothill neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:21 am
Thanks all for providing the ROI as a nebulous number. Why is it that the city of Dublin can provide a cost savings number (not sure it is accurate, but at last it is a number)and the city of Pleasanton wants us all just to feel good about helping the environment. I am all for converting to LEDs. I am all for reducing our carbon footprint; however the city has a fiduciary responsibility to the constituents. It should be a simple number to calculate. Cost to replace lamps /((Watts of old lamps - watts of new LED)*hours on per year/1000 *cost per kwh.)= years before new lamps become cost efficient.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm
ROI wrote: "Why is it that the city of Dublin can provide a cost savings number (not sure it is accurate, but at last it is a number)and the city of Pleasanton wants us all just to feel good about helping the environment...."
ROI, if you spent 1/10 as much time calling up the city and trying to get the data as you do on pointless griping and complaining on these forums, then you would already have the answer by now. I'm sure that they have the hard numbers that you want and that they are not proposing this because it just "feels good". Now you can either spend your time pointlessly griping back to me here on these forums, or you can attempt to go get the hard facts.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm
ROI wrote: " It should be a simple number to calculate. Cost to replace lamps /((Watts of old lamps - watts of new LED)*hours on per year/1000 *cost per kwh.)= years before new lamps become cost efficient."
Also, a rough calculation of the savings, while relatively simple, is not as simple as you make it out to be. The formula you supplied is basically valid for a homeowner to use to calculate how many years it would take for LED bulbs to pay for themselves. But that's because a homeowner's time is essentially "free". For the city, they also reap considerable savings in reduced maintenance costs in not having to hire so many people going around and replacing burned out conventional streetlights (typical lifetime 3 to 5 years) as opposed to LED streetlights (estimated lifetime 10-15 years).
Posted by The Mad Hatter, a resident of another community, on Jan 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm
Unlike residential homes, street lights are charged on an 'unmetered' rate. It's called and "LS-2" electrical rate schedule for customer owned street and highway lighting. The City essentially pays a monthly fee for each light (too expensive to have a meter for every street light). Virtually all the existing City street lights are High Pressure Sodium. For a 200 watt lamp (example) the City pays about $10.50 per month. An LED equivalent (probably in the 90 watt range) is $3.91 per month. Savings of about $80 per year for this particular example. Typical new LED street lights (purchase only) are in the mid to high $200 range depending on brand and model. Installation is fairly quick - a light can be changed out in about 10-15 minutes (most of the time setting up the truck and safety "stuff" to do the work). As the previous poster said, this doesn't include the maintenance costs to replace burned out bulbs far more frequently.
So overall, the cost recovery is pretty quick. I don't know what the City ended up calculating it to be, but 5-6 years is a fairly conservative number. Not an economics major, but I believe a return of investment in that short a time period would constitute a good investment, and will eventually save the City millions over the lifetime of the project if the LED lights last as long as they are expected to. Plus (in my opinion) LED lighting significantly outperforms high pressure sodium lights and will improve roadway safety throughout the City.
Posted by Mohr Resident, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Jan 18, 2013 at 9:54 am
I'm glad they are doing this. I have noticed, while driving around town, more street lights seem to be off than normal. Anything that lengthens the time between having to replace lights is a good thing. Already called the city on the one constantly out at Iron Horse Trail and Mohr. As for Danbury resident - it pays for all the lights in the city. So if you walk or drive around the city at night, you use those lights.
Posted by artlover, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jan 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm
I called and wrote the city several times to report that the lights were on at the Sports Park path in broad daylight. You can imagine how many there are of those. NEVER got fixed. sigh
Also, I have seen 2 HUGE brand trucks with Pleasanton's logo on them- They obviously are only needed for super duper big projects. I've never seen them before now- why must we even own, paint, maintain such vehicles? I would think it would be cost effective to rent or contract out such a need- but who am I?- just a dumb taxpayer.