Superior Streets: City of Superior, Neb., reduces energy costs by nearly 70 percent with move to GE LED street lighting
SUPERIOR, Neb. — May 9, 2012 — (NYSE:GE) — Like most municipalities, the City of Superior was looking for ways to save scarce tax dollars and keep utility rates down. The solution—a citywide streetlight replacement project, moving from high-pressure sodium lights to GE’s energy-efficient LED streetlights, ultimately reducing the city’s electricity costs by more than $20,000 annually.
The high-pressure sodium lights had lit Superior’s city streets and parks for many years, but the city wanted to reduce electricity costs while maintaining or improving light quality. Superior received 13 bids and accompanying light samples from the top four candidates. The city performed side-by-side testing of each light sample for two weeks before measuring light output and energy usage, balanced with pricing. The GE Evolve™ LED Medium Roadway fixture
emerged as the clear winner. Superior had applied for and received an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to cover part of the cost of the lighting upgrade. The grant program is a federal initiative to help fund energy efficiency and conservation programs across the country.
In 2009, Superior spent $30,260 on electricity for streetlights. The city expects the more than 600 LED fixtures installed will reduce electricity costs to approximately $9,300 annually, with the project paying for itself in just seven years. In addition to energy savings, the city will realize reduced maintenance costs, with the GE LED system expected to provide 11 years of service, based on a 50,000-hour life and 12 hours of operation per day.
The switch to GE Evolve LED street lighting reduced Superior’s electricity costs by more than $20,000 annually.
Larry Brittenham, utility manager for Superior, acknowledges the monetary payback is important, but says the real payback is in reducing the city’s carbon footprint.
“We are saving 156 tons of CO2 per year from just the electrical generation of our streetlights, which doesn’t include the reduced impact from the transportation and manufacturing of parts, or installation every few years with our old lighting. Just imagine what larger cities could save in greenhouse gasses with GE’s LED systems,” says Brittenham. “For the combination of light output and cost, no other LED manufacturers came close to the GE lights.”
GE Evolve LED Roadway fixtures improve visibility on Superior’s roads with better horizontal and vertical lighting uniformity, reduced glare and light pollution, and less light trespass. As part of a major initiative for the state of Nebraska to move to green technology, Superior and five other Nebraska cities are retrofitting various mercury vapor and high-pressure sodium streetlights with GE LED systems.
“We’re seeing a rapid adoption of LED systems for roadways. In fact, 29 states have already installed or are evaluating GE’s Evolve™ LED fixture as a replacement for less-efficient lighting sources. This replacement project will improve visibility for Nebraska drivers, which can create a brighter environment. It will also reduce maintenance costs and lower energy consumption,” says Tim Miller, GE global product manager, outdoor lighting fixture platforms.
About GE Lighting
GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs over 17,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve™, GTx, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination® and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.