Helping the Earth one LED street light at a time

LED Street light bridge shotIf you’ve driven at night recently, you’ve probably noticed some of the work we’ve done to thousands of street lights across Iowa and Wisconsin. The work is saving energy, reducing greenhouse gases and making our streets brighter.

We’re doing pilot projects to study and transition the tens of thousands of street lights we operate to a new energy-efficient technology. We’re replacing the standard high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights with a new LED light. The HPS, commonly found across the country, gives off an orange/yellow glow. The LED shines a brighter, whiter light.

Out pilotInstalling LED Street Light projects are at different stages depending on the communities. So far, we’ve installed more than 20,000 LED street lights in Iowa and more than 1,400 in Wisconsin.

This work is having a positive impact on the environment, our roads and our customers. On average, the LED uses about 20 fewer watts than the HPS. The savings is even greater for some of the larger LED units that replace older HPS units.

“We’re leveraging this new technology to bring a lot of benefit to our customers,” said Doug Kopp, senior vice president of Operations Support, Environmental. “Since these lights are on all night, every night, that savings really adds up.”

Here are a few of the project’s benefits:

  • So far, we’ve reduced the energy needed to light our streets by more than 400,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) each month. Reducing that amount of energy usage has the same benefit to the environment as removing the annual greenhouse gases from about 57 passenger cars.
  • The LED lights benefit drivers by making it easier to see different colors at night and by providing more uniform lighting on the pavement.
  • Cities and municipalities pay for their communities’ street lighting. These new LED lights are providing benefits without any additional costs for our customers.

Whether it’s producing renewable power or utilizing new technology to become more efficient, we’re helping power our customers and communities safely, efficiently and responsibly.

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