Providence, R.I., – The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) today joined Pascoag Utility District (PUD) representatives to present an update on their joint Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlight conversion project to the Burrillville Town Council. The project aims to reduce energy costs for the local community; decrease utility maintenance and equipment costs; and enhance the quality of roadway lighting by converting high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights to LEDs. Through this collaboration, OER and PUD have converted 250 streetlights, which are expected to save an estimated 56,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year. The project was supported by state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds, leveraged with local demand-side management and utility funds.
"As Governor, I am always looking for ways to reduce energy costs for local businesses, families, and our cities and towns," Governor Gina M. Raimondo said. "By working collaboratively to convert local streetlights to LEDs, OER and the Pascoag Utility District are leading by example. This project will significantly reduce energy consumption in the Pascoag area, lowering costs for the local community and utility, while enhancing roadway lighting and safety. I applaud OER and Pascoag for their innovative spirit and for demonstrating what can be accomplished when we all work together."
The Pascoag Utility District first began converting its streetlights in 2012 when a pilot program converted 56 HPS lights to LED fixtures. In 2013, an additional 105 streetlights were replaced throughout Pascoag and Harrisville. And in 2014 and 2015, with an OER grant of $62,500, 250 more streetlights were replaced with LED fixtures. Pascoag now has a total of 411 LED streetlights. The OER-PUD partnership has doubled the number of energy efficient LED streetlight deployed throughout the utility's service territory.
"OER is thrilled to partner with the Pascoag Utility District to reduce local energy costs for district customers through this exciting LED streetlight conversion project," said State Energy Commissioner Marion S. Gold. "This project is consistent with OER's on-going efforts to target energy cost reductions throughout state and municipal governments, while advancing important clean energy and environmental goals. LED conversion is a cost-effective, clean energy solution that has the added benefit of enhancing the quality of roadway lighting and safety. We look forward to continuing our work with PUD and the surrounding community."
"Pascoag Utility District is extremely pleased to be working with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources on this LED Street-lighting conversion program," said Mike Kirkwood, Pascoag Utility District General Manager and CEO. "This project is not only providing real dollar savings and improving the quality of street-lighting for our customers, but it is also enhancing public safety on our roadways at the same time. The allocation of grant funding that OER has provided to Pascoag has allowed us to accelerate the conversion process. We could not be any happier than with this collaboration with our friends at OER."
LED fixtures offer higher-quality lighting and can enhance roadway safety as brightness is improved. In addition, the implementation of this project is expected to reduce utility maintenance and equipment costs, as LED fixtures have a longer life than more traditional high-pressure sodium lights. As a result, Pascoag's utility crews will spend less time on fixture replacement and more time on maintenance of distribution lines and equipment – savings and benefits which ultimately accrue to local electricity customers.
OER's efforts to support the deployment of energy efficient LED streetlights goes beyond the Pascoag project. In April 2015, OER announced the availability of $525,000 in incentives for qualified Rhode Island municipalities looking to convert their own streetlights to drive energy consumption and costs savings.
About the Office of Energy Resources: The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources works closely with private and public stakeholders to increase the reliability and security of our energy supply, reduce energy costs and mitigate price volatility, and improve environmental quality. Its mission is to lead Rhode Island to a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future.
About Pascoag Utility District: The Pascoag Utility District (the District) is a quasi-municipal entity established by an Act of the Rhode Island General Assembly in 2001. The District provides electric and water services to its customers. The Electric division is the only public power utility in the State of Rhode Island, meaning it is locally owned by its customers, and not-for-profit. It purchases electricity and distributes it to approximately 4,700 customers in the Villages of Pascoag and Harrisville, both in the Town of Burrillville, Rhode Island. The Water Division serves approximately 1,100 residential and commercial/industrial customers in the Village of Pascoag.