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Update: On July 23, 2015, Commissioner Steve Novick announced that the Portland Bureau of Transportation had surpassed two major milestones in the city’s largest ever energy efficiency project: More than 20,000 city street lights have been converted to modern LED lights, and savings from the program have now topped $100,000 per month. Those monthly savings will continue to grow as more lights are converted. Read the news release for more info about this historic milestone.
Portland’s largest-ever energy efficiency project is happening now – and the Bureau of Transportation is guiding the effort.
During the next two years, through 2016, the Bureau will work to convert the City’s 45,000 street lights to LED (light-emitting diode) lights. Before PBOT began the conversion, the bulk of the City’s streetlights used high-pressure sodium bulbs. Those bulbs only last, on average, five years. The new LEDs are expected to last four times longer and use half the energy.
The City Council unanimously approved the program in December 2012 and provided $18.5 million in funding. Energy and maintenance savings will more than cover the initial cost. Once the conversion is complete, Portland expects to save $1.5 million every year.
In terms of energy efficiency, the City expects electrical usage to drop by 20 million kilowatt hours every year and eliminate 10,500 tons of climate-changing carbon pollution.
The new lights will also lead to a reduction in “light pollution,” which will mean clearer night skies for Portland stargazers.
The Bureau is rolling the program out slowly to allow for public input. To read more about how the lights may look different to the eye, check out our FAQ. If you’d like to talk with a staff member about the project, please contact City of Portland Street Lighting via phone at 503-865-5267 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council-approved ordinance to invest savings from LED street light conversion in system replacement and renewable energy.
A guide to questions commonly asked about our LED conversion program.