New Data Strengthens Business Case for LED Lighting Retrofits

C40 City Los Angeles Documents Success

It has been two years since the city of Los Angeles launched a major public works project to retrofit the city’s street lighting with energy-efficient LED (light emitting diode) fixtures, marking a good opportunity to assess progress. The project is still the largest LED street lighting retrofit ever undertaken globally; its implementation is ahead of schedule and the energy cost savings are surpassing original projections, largely due to continued improvements in the energy efficiency of LED technology.

Two years later, this remains a globally transformative project. CCI is proud of the partnership with the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting and Mayor Villaraigosa's Office. Because of their vision, the City is already saving millions of dollars a year, reducing their carbon footprint, improving street safety, and leading the world by example. – Sarah Potts, CCI/C40 City Director in Los Angeles

The project is a collaboration between the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting; the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office; the Department of Water & Power; and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities Program, which is now a fully integrated partner with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40).

Targeting 140,000 of the city’s more than 209,000 street lights, the objectives of the retrofit project are to enhance the quality of municipal street lighting, reduce light pollution, improve street safety, and save both energy and money. The city budgeted $57 million for the project, to be carried out over a five-year period. Upon full implementation, the project is expected to return an estimated $10 million in energy and maintenance cost savings to the city, while avoiding at least 40,500 tons of CO2e emissions each year.

"The success of Mayor Villaraigosa's LED Streetlight Program continues to exceed expectations, and our partnership with CCI was instrumental. This program is a critical component of the Mayor's vision to create green jobs and to transform LA into the greenest big city in the country. We are not only cutting carbon emission and saving energy, but we are also reducing our energy costs. We are proving that going green is a sound economic choice,” says Romel Pascual, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Sustainability.

As of July 2011, the city has installed 51,035 LED streetlights, achieving energy savings of 59 percent, reducing CO2e emissions by 12,560 metric tons annually, and cutting utility costs by $1.8 million annually. Feedback from the community, including residents, politicians, and law enforcement officials, has also been positive. This new data strengthens the business case for the project and provides a roadmap for other cities to develop similar projects around the world.

Read the full case study here.