Ahwatukee’s streetlights are going LED next summer.
The Phoenix Street Transportation Department and its contractor, Ameresco, has scheduled Ahwatukee’s lights for conversion from Aug. 20 to Sept. 28 as part of a plan that began being implemented this week.
“We’ve set big sustainability goals for the city and converting to LED streetlights brings up one step closer to meeting them,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Saving tax payer dollars and cutting energy costs in our city makes us a more attractive place to live and do business.”
When completed approximately 100,000 existing streetlights in Phoenix’s road system will feature an energy-efficient 2,700-kelvin LED fixture – the city’s new kelvin standard for streetlights. With the savings in energy and reduced maintenance costs associated with LED, the city expects to achieve a total net savings of approximately $22 million through 2030.
In addition to the energy and maintenance cost savings associated with LED, the city will seek approximately $875,000 in rebates from APS’s lighting technology upgrade program.
To allow the city to meet the timeline for the APS rebate program the citywide conversion work is slated to begin in the APS service areas.
As part of the initial phase for the LED streetlight conversion project, this past summer close to 1,000 streetlights were converted to LED.
The citywide conversion is programmed to be completed fall 2019.
A map that depicts work zones and schedules, including the conversion status for each streetlight, is available on the city’s LED program webpage at phoenix.gov/LED.
A majority of the work on residential streets will be performed weekdays during daytime hours and a majority of the work on major streets will be performed overnight. Multiple crews will be deployed throughout the city to ensure this project is completed in the most efficient manner.
A single fixture replacement will take an average of 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Work will be performed in a moving operation and may require temporary traffic lane restrictions.
While crews are working, the sidewalk and curbside parking spaces located adjacent to the work site will be temporarily restricted. Fixture replacement work will not affect utility power to adjacent properties. As part of this project, existing streetlight poles, bases and underground cabling will remain intact.
At an Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee meeting earlier in November 2016, city officials said they also are replacing 20,000 street signs citywide at a total cost of $7 million.
But they gave no indication how many would be replaced in Ahwatukee or when the program would even start.
When some committee members complained about the condition of light poles, noting many were rusting, department special projects administrator Eileen Yazzie said poles are replaced after her staff receives a complaint. She did not say how long it takes to act on a complaint.
“We need to be told when streetlights are out or poles need repainted,” she said.
City officials said they began testing LED energy-efficient streetlights in 2007 throughout various locations before adopting them as the new street technology in 2013.
Phoenix will join cities across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston in retrofitting its streetlights.
LEDs can cut energy use and carbon emissions by up to 60 percent and can last years longer than traditional streetlights. They also distribute light more consistently, with fewer dark spots, so streets are illuminated more evenly and less light is misdirected.
“Benefits of setting long-term sustainability goals include inspiring innovation that can result in cost savings, attracting businesses that value sustainability to relocate, improving risk premiums and enticing more tourists who choose to vacation in areas that align with their sustainability values,” according to a staff report.