The city of Phoenix Street Transportation Department hasn’t given up its efforts to test different types of energy efficient streetlights despite the fact that the program has no funding.
The city’s Energy Efficient Street Light Pilot Project continues to work with APS and equipment donors to evaluate both induction and LED lighting in eight testing areas scattered around the city.
Even though there isn’t a budget set aside for the program, the city said in an informational PDF on its website that it feels it has “an obligation to the public to examine new products as they emerge.”
The city currently uses two styles of streetlights: The cobra head and the architectural shoe box. Both of these styles use High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs.
The conventional HPS bulbs have a life of about 24,000 hours, while induction lights have a life of more than 100,000 hours and LEDs have around 50,000 hours.
According to its website, the city has already seen energy and monetary savings from traffic signals that have been replaced with LED lights.
APS has installed various wattages of the induction and LED lights in order to monitor energy consumption, illumination output, community reaction and cost of replacement fixtures.
All of the equipment for the project has been donated or loaned to the city.
City of Phoenix Civil Engineer III Briiana Leon said progress was made last month when the department reorganized the project and created minimum requirements for donated equipment, as well as a new process of evaluation.
But according to Leon. there are still two hurdles in front of the pilot program.
“First we need to find an avenue of funding. Then we need to work out an agreement with APS to come up with new rates for LED lighting,” Leon said.
The city of Phoenix currently pays unmetered rates to APS. That means the city pays a flat rate per streetlight per month. Leon said that until new LED flat rates are agreed upon, the city wouldn’t save any money by switching to energy efficient bulbs.
Until those negotiations are made, the city will continue to maintain the 88,500 HPS bulbs it has.
Leon said now is a good time to call in a repair request if one of those streetlights is out.
“We’re very busy with repair requests in the winter because the hours of daylight are shorter. Summer is a less busy time,” Leon said, adding that the city of Phoenix receives 500 e-mails and phone calls regarding streetlights on average per month.
In the winter that number can go as high as 750 per month, and in the summer as low as 350 per month.
The most important places for a quick streetlight repair are on intersections and long stretches of road with high amounts of traffic, Leon said.
For a speedy repair, Leon suggests gathering the following information before calling the streetlight outage line:
• Street light pole location
• Pole number (located 6 to 10 feet up from bottom of pole)
• Nature of the problem
• Your name, address and daytime telephone number
For more information on streetlight repairs or the Energy Efficient Street Light Pilot Project, visit www.Phoenix.gov/streets and click on “Street Light Information” or call the streetlight outage line at (602) 495-5125.
Erica Tiffany is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.