The City of Asheville increases energy efficiency and reduces its carbon footprint by replacing mercury vapor and high-pressure sodium fixtures with LEDway® luminaires.
City of Asheville
Through a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Asheville is the first city in North Carolina to install LED streetlights on a large scale. The City of Asheville’s push to increase energy efficiency and reduce the City’s overall carbon footprint has recently taken a big step with the replacement of traditional streetlights – 175- and 400-watt mercury vapor and 250-watt high-pressure sodium fixtures – with LED luminaires.
Approximately 730 streetlights in Asheville’s River District and Kenilworth neighborhoods have been replaced with LEDway® streetlights, saving the city approximately $45,000 in annual energy costs and reducing its carbon footprint by an estimated one percent. An additional 2,913 LEDway® streetlights are being installed and the City anticipates saving 50 percent in energy use and maintenance avoidance due to the LED upgrade. The total upgrade of 3,643 LEDway® streetlights is projected to result in savings of $260,000 annually. “The upgrade to LED streetlights represents one of the most exciting developments since the Office of Sustainability was created three years ago to examine ways to reduce the City of Asheville’s energy use,” said Maggie Ullman, energy coordinator with the City’s Office of Sustainability. “It reaffirms Asheville’s role as a leader in carbon footprint reduction.”
In addition to energy and cost savings, this LED installation also reduces glare and light pollution which adheres to the 2008 lighting ordinance approved by the City Council. In 2009, the Asheville City Council unanimously approved using Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, part of the ARRA, to fund efficiency initiatives, including the first phase of the streetlight replacement. The revolving fund will roll energy savings back into the City’s green and efficiency initiatives. Progress Energy, which serves the City of Asheville, offers customers a rate schedule for LED streetlights. The special rates, approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission, offers customers the option of renting or owning LED lighting fixtures and reflect the energy cost savings of LED technology.