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A Fresh Approach to Getting Savings from Streetlights

DSMdat Program Spotlight
By Chelsea Hodge - Research Analyst

One of the first things I noticed when I moved into my current house a year and a half ago was the streetlamp in a corner of the front yard. Generally, streetlamps in yards aren’t too remarkable, but this one looks like the love child of a Japanese pagoda and a Victorian wedding cake—something that only a former property owner could have selected and installed. (From my experience, utilities don’t invest in this sort of funky design for their lamps.) “How unusual!” I remember thinking to myself. I’d never seen an owner-installed streetlight before!

However, a Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) program that my colleague Melanie Wemple uncovered while adding new programs to DSMdat—the E Source searchable database of demand-side management (DSM) programs—suggests that property owner–installed or –owned streetlamps are not as rare as I thought. In fact, the program specifically targets streetlights owned by CL&P’s residential customers.

For many years, utilities have targeted city- and county-owned streetlights to achieve energy savings, but CL&P’s Streetlight Midnight Turn-Off (PDF) rebate program is the first we’ve encountered that targets energy savings from privately owned streetlights on residential properties. And this is despite the fact that streetlights are major energy users (the smallest fixtures draw around 60 watts, while the largest draw around 1,100 watts). The program offers residential (and commercial) customers a $51.16 rebate for installing a programmable photocell on a streetlight they own. Once the programmable photocell is installed, the customer can sign up for the Midnight Service option that is part of CL&P’s Rate 117 for customer-owned streetlights. According to the Rate 117 tariff sheet (PDF), lamps enrolled in the Midnight Service option burn for 1,940 fewer hours each year than lamps on the standard dusk-to-dawn service, which translates to a 46.7 percent reduction in burn hours. Talk about serious savings!

In addition to this and dozens of other programs, new in this release of DSMdat is a “smart power strips” tag in the Technology category. Smart power strips are taking off as an incentivized measure in utility DSM programs as evidenced by the 15 programs in the database labeled with this tag. Be sure to check them out, and take a look at Saving Energy with Smart Strips, by my colleague Essie Snell, if you’re craving more!

We’re always on the lookout for new utility and state DSM programs that are unique, progressive, or just downright cool. Be sure to let me know if you’ve seen any such programs or run one at your utility.

February 2011 DSMdat Updates: Added 22 New Programs and Updated 124 Programs

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